Osborn waves (J-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

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 76F (24C).

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
Ken Grauer, MD
The 360 Degree Heart – Part II
Nice case Vince (!) - as you lay the ground for your "pet concept" of the vector approach to ST elevation. That said, for those vectorially-challenged readers (like myself) - I offer the following 2 concepts: i) This is not diffuse subendocardial ischemia because the ST depression is not "diffuse". Instead - there is no…
2014-10-26 05:13:56
Stephen Smith
Conclusion: “And then I gave her a NTG…”
There is also no data I'm aware of that shows that, in the reperfusion era, nitroglycerine helps patients with STEMI who do not have elevated BP or pulmonary edema. Data is lacking in all regards.
2014-10-24 16:14:36
Kevin
44 year old male CC: Palpitations
Why on earth would you risk VF, by giving Adenosine to rule out rhythms.. This is dangerous, and foolish. There might be a slight chance that this is WPW.. You might as well just give him Cardizem, they are both AV nodal blockers... I don't know why the AHA even added this stupid idea..
2014-10-22 13:31:06
Vince DiGiulio
The 360 Degree Heart – Part II
It is standard practice in electrocardiography to label the first 90 degrees counter-clockwise from "zero" that way. When you see a patient with "left axis deviation" you'll see that their measured QRS axis is somewhere between -30 and -90 degrees. Imagine if you saw someone with a mean QRS axis at 5 degrees. Now imagine…
2014-10-21 14:00:37
Bryan
The 360 Degree Heart – Part II
I don't understand why (-)III and aVL are be labeled -60 and -30 degrees instead of 300 and 330 degrees?
2014-10-21 13:43:29

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