Conclusion to 68 yof CC: Unresponsive on kitchen floor – Osborn waves of hypothermia

Here is the conclusion to 68 year old female unresponsive on kitchen floor.

Let’s take another look at the 12-lead ECG.

This ECG is classic for severe hypothermia.

  • The rhythm is atrial fibrillation
  • It’s bradycardic
  • The QT/QTc is prolonged
  • Osborn waves (J-waves) are present throughout

osborne_waves

You can see how the Osborn waves (J-waves) can be a STEMI mimic, which is one of the reasons we need clinical correlation with any ECG.

The patient was transported to the hospital where the core temperature was measured at 76°F (24°C).

The patient went into cardiac arrest and was defibrillated x3.

CPR was continued for the next 2 hours as the patient was re-warmed.

Remember, in this particular special resuscitation situation “you’re not dead until you’re warm and dead.”

The patient was not successfully resuscitated.

To see how Osborn waves can regress during rewarming, see Giant Osborn Waves in Hypothermia (Images in Clinical Medicine Case in the New England Journal of Medicine).

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Comments
James
59 Year Old Male: Unwell
This is a ugly EKG. Wide complex irregular tachycardia around 150's. A-fib and a-flutter are possibilities. He's severely symptomatic. At this point, all treatment is same, electricity. If A fib, it may not want to "shock out" easily. This may be a case where initial cardioversion at max joules would be prudent. Pulmonary edema likely…
2015-07-01 22:00:13
Bryan
59 Year Old Male: Unwell
Calcium has little to no side effects, given the first EKG I think it is reasonable to consider it for first line treatment. Repeat EKG after 5 mins and reassess.
2015-07-01 21:14:40
Mike MacKenzie
The Trouble with Sinus Tachycardia
An absolute must read for all Medics. Great article. I am always trying to tell students to consider referring to these fast rhythms as a narrow complex tachycardia, then start looking for the cause, be it physiologic response or an electrical conduction issue. And as many have stated, I often hear that it must be…
2015-07-01 20:11:34
Josh
59 Year Old Male: Unwell
Looks like anterior lateral STEMI with BBB. Possibly LAD infarct. Positive Avr indicative of a Proximal LAD. Clear elevation to high and low lateral leads. I, AVL, V3,4,5,6. Reciprocal inferior ST Depression in II, III and AvF. Tachycardia could be secondary to hypotension, anxiety, pain or tachyarrythmia caused by hypoxic excitation. Descernable P waves, ST…
2015-07-01 16:19:15
Todd Ellingson
59 Year Old Male: Unwell
Being irregular argues against VT, though first glance it does look like that. This is likely afib with aberrancy. One could consider WPW with afib with antidromic conduction down accessory pathway, however WPW is usually dx'd when someone is younger - unlikely to be 59 and not know this. Electrolytes, especially high K, is a…
2015-07-01 16:02:58

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