Reduction of body temperature causes physiologic alterations which may enable the surgeon to improve existing techniques for operative procedures. Both Swan and Lewis have demonstrated that surgery under direct vision in the opened heart is possible for certain congenital defects if the patients are first made hypothermic. Other applications of this method can only be speculated upon for the present, however, because of limited information on the fundamentals of the body's response to the condition of reduced temperature. Not only are there gaps in the core of information on this subject, but there are reports of experimental studies which lead to conflicting conclusions. Therefore, a broader application of this method must wait for the completion of more experimental studies. At the present time hypothermia as an adjunctive surgical measure is of established value in a very limited sphere.
Most studies of animals have been made with methods which reduce body
HELMSWORTH JA, COLE WR, Helmsworth MM, Masri A. Comparison of Two Methods for Induction of Hypothermia in Dogs. AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(3):481-484. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280030107012