Hypothermia in the Trauma Patient: How Vital Is This Sign?

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Recognizing the adverse impact that trauma has on a patient's overall well-being and hemodynamic stability is key to successful management and improved outcomes for this patient population. It is well established that trauma is accompanied by deadly pathophysiological sequelae, referred to as the “trauma triad.” This triad is characterized by hypothermia, acidosis, and coagulopathy. This triad is cyclic and, moreover, each element of the triad builds upon one another to exacerbate the next. Hence, evidence demonstrates that it is important to recognize the cycle and intervene early to reduce or prevent negative outcomes.

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