Long-term prognostic factors for patients with accidental hypothermia
Background: The long-term prognosis of patients with accidental hypothermia (AH) is unclear. Therefore, the all-cause one-year mortality and long-term prognostic factors for patients with AH who were alive at discharge from the hospital were evaluated in this study. Methods: Medical records for 390 patients with AH admitted to our hospital between January 2008 and May 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. The primary outcome was the all-cause one-year mortality rate in patients alive at discharge. At discharge, surviving patients were divided into two groups for analysis: (1) patients who were alive one year after discharge, and (2) patients who died within one year, despite being alive at discharge. Results: One hundred and fifty-three hypothermic patients met the study criteria. The all-cause one-year mortality was 20.9% (32/153). Patients who died within a year were older (p = 0.01), had bradycardia (p = 0.01), had comorbidities including malignancy (p = 0.02) and dementia (p = 0.02), had higher Acute Physiology, and Chronic Health Evaluation-II scores (p < 0.01), and had increased frailty at discharge (p < 0.01) than patients who survived. Conclusion: The long-term prognosis of patients with AH is poor. The deteriorating ability of patients to perform activities of daily living might be a long-term prognostic factor for AH. In addition, the one-year mortality rate remains high for patients with AH, even among those who were alive at discharge.