Full thickness burns secondary to ice pack treatment in the emergency department. Hazards of cooling.

A case report.

DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/AETHR

 

Kanakopoulos D, King H, Dawood O, Tickunas T. Full thickness burns secondary to ice pack treatment in the emergency department. Hazards of cooling. A case report. Am J med Surg. 2021; 3(2). 5-7.

Abstract: There is no universal protocol for the cooling of patients suffering from hyperthermia. Various options are available, and their use varies greatly between emergency departments. These methods include cooled saline, cooling blankets, dampened sheets/towels and ice packs. The use of ice packs is routine in many departments as a matter of necessity despite the relative risks vs. benefits being poorly understood. The literature reports that complications of cooling treatment are rare, however, there is little information available on the rates. Here we present a case of an 81-year-old female patient who was admitted to the Emergency Department with hyperthermia secondary to a heat stroke. This was treated with ice packs applied directly onto abdominal skin, without any interface, for a prolonged time, resulting in full thickness burns to the area and requiring transfer to the local Burns Unit for expert intervention.

 

Keywords: Burns, ice pack burn, skin burns.