Hypothermia - Diagnosis

The situation in which a person is found is often an important clue to diagnosis. Someone pulled from a lake in the middle of winter, for example, is likely to be suffering from hypothermia. Pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration should be checked immediately and monitored. Oral (mouth) temperatures are often not accurate at cold temperatures. Instead, the temperature is taken at some other part of the body, such as in the ear or rectum.

A doctor might use an electrocardiogram (ECG; pronounced ih-LEK-trocar-DEE-uh-gram; it measure electrical activity of the heart to make sure it is functioning normally) to get information on the functioning of the patient's heart. Blood and urine tests may also be ordered to see how well body functions are operating.

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