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Modelling accidental hypothermia effects on a human body under different pathophysiological conditions

Coccarelli, Alberto, Boileau, Etienne, Parthimos, Dimitris and Nithiarasu, Perumal 2017. Modelling accidental hypothermia effects on a human body under different pathophysiological conditions. Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 55 , pp. 2155-2167. 10.1007/s11517-017-1657-3

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Accidental exposure to cold water environment is one of the most challenging situations in which hypothermia occurs. In the present work, we aim to characterise the energy balance of a human body subjected to such extreme environmental conditions. This study is carried out using a recently developed computational model and by setting boundary conditions needed to simulate the effect of cold surrounding environment. A major finding is the capacity of the body core regions to maintain their temperature high for a substantial amount of time, even under the most extreme environmental conditions. We also considered two disease states that highlight the spectrum of possible pathologies implicated in thermal regulation of the human body. These states are (i) cardiomyopathy, which affects the operating capacity of the heart, and (ii) malnutrition, which directly impairs the body’s ability to regulate heat exchange with the environment. We have found that cardiomyopathy has little influence on the thermal balance of the human body, whereas malnutrition has a profound negative effect on the thermal balance and leads to dramatic reduction in core temperature.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hypothermia modelling; Bio-heat transfer; Thermoregulation; Cardiomyopathy; Malnutrition
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0140-0118
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 May 2017
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 17:30

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