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Clinical Notes
February 29, 1964

Simple Method for Achieving Gastric Cooling

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

From the Department of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Division of Gastroenterology, Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Small is chief of the Gastrointestinal Research Section, Division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Brick is professor of medicine.

JAMA. 1964;187(9):678-680. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060220052021
Abstract

GASTRIC LAVAGE with iced water has long been used in the management of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. The vasoconstrictive effect of cooling and the clinical impression of its efficacy have led to refinements in the technique of cooling and more exact evaluation of its physiological effects.1-3 Some recent studies4,5 have shown that an intragastric temperature of 10 C (50 F ) will produce a reduction in perigastric venous outflow, a marked depression in motility, and a significant retardation of gastric emptying. With this physiological support of clinical observations, more widespread use of hypothermia is being made in cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

The simplest method of achieving local cooling, gastric lavage with iced water, has certain disadvantages: (1) electrolytes may be eluted, (2) fluid loss into the gut may result in water intoxication, (3) maintenance of an ambient temperature of 10 C is virtually impossible, and (4) constant close supervision

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