At present, hypothermia is used in cardiac surgery and other situations where there is deliberate temporary interruption of major blood supply for short periods of time.* Its value in conditions where reduction in metabolism and "physiologic" hypotension would be desirable has been suggested.† Acute pulmonary disease, emboli, anemic crises, lower nephron oliguria, shock, myocardial infarction, and thyrotoxicosis are but a portion of the list presented by Swan7 in a notable critique of the present status of hypothermia where the value of this procedure might be speculated upon.
For use in such situations, it is conceivable that prolonged hypothermia might be resorted to. Further, the occasion may well arise where hypothermia for surgery may by necessity be extended beyond the relatively short periods of time now in use.
Although in recent years there has been much fundamental investigation upon hypothermia, most of the experiments have been concerned with methods of
FISHER B, RUSS C, FEDOR E, WILDE R, ENGSTROM P, HAPPEL J, PRENDERGAST P. Experimental Evaluation of Prolonged Hypothermia. AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(3):431-448. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270150125015