Hypothermia in bleeding trauma: A friend or a foe?

Tareq Kheirbek, Ashley R. Kochanek, Hasan B. Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The induction of hypothermia for cellular protection is well established in several clinical settings. Its role in trauma patients, however, is controversial. This review discusses the benefits and complications of induced hypothermia - emphasizing the current state of knowledge and potential applications in bleeding patients. Extensive pre-clinical data suggest that in advanced stages of shock, rapid cooling can protect cells during ischemia and reperfusion, decrease organ damage, and improve survival. Yet hypothermia is a double edged sword; unless carefully managed, its induction can be associated with a number of complications. Appropriate patient selection requires a thorough understanding of the pre-clinical literature. Clinicians must also appreciate the enormous influence that temperature modulation exerts on various cellular mechanisms. This manuscript aims to provide a balanced view of the published literature on this topic. While many of the advantageous molecular and physiological effects of induced hypothermia have been outlined in animal models, rigorous clinical investigations are needed to translate these promising findings into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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