Exertional heat injury: Prehospital cold intravenous saline

Article title

Exertional heat injury: Effects of adding cold (4ºC) intravenous saline to prehospital protocol


This article reviews current prehospital treatment for heat casualties and introduces a retrospective study on the addition of cold (4ºC) intravenous (IV) saline to prehospital treatment and its effect on morbidity. The study is a retrospective cohort reviewing electronic medical records of 290 heat casualties admitted toMartin Army Community Hospital, Ft. Benning, GA, comparing two treatment groups; U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (ice-sheeting and ambient temperature IV saline) versus Benning (ice-sheeting and cold IV saline). U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command group significantly differed from Benning group on a number of measures, the median length of stay in the hospital was 3 and 2 d, respectively (P < 0.0001); pCr were 1.8 to 1.4 mg•dL–1, respectively (difference of 0.4 mg•dL–1 pCr, P < 0.0001). However, creatine phosphokinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were not significantly different across groups. Findings demonstrate that adding cold IV saline to ice-sheeting as a protocol reduces the length of hospitalization of heat casualties and lowers their peak creatinine values.


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