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Modelling accidental hypothermia effects on a human body under different pathophysiological conditions / Alberto Coccarelli, Etienne Boileau, Dimitris Parthimos, Perumal Nithiarasu

Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, Volume: 55, Issue: 12, Pages: 2155 - 2167

Swansea University Authors: Alberto Coccarelli, Perumal Nithiarasu

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Abstract

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...

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Published in: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing
ISSN: 0140-0118 1741-0444
Published: 2017
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa49823
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Abstract: 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.
Keywords: Hypothermia modelling, Bio-heat transfer, Thermoregulation, Cardiomyopathy, Malnutrition
College: College of Engineering
Issue: 12
Start Page: 2155
End Page: 2167