American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Hypothermia and Cold Injury

  • Book Reviews
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Hypothermia and Cold Injury. Evan L. Lloyd. Apen Systems, Rockville, Maryland. 1986. 397 pages. 19 figures and tables.

Although this is an excellent review of virtually all that is known today about hypothermia, the title is misleading: only seven pages are given to frostbite. Here we have a great deal of information about mechanisms of heat conservation and loss, and of the effects of cold on every organ system and function, as well as an excellent discussion of fact and fancy in rewarming. Water deaths are usually attributed to drowning, the author points out, rather than to cold. Hypothermia is more common than suspected: though few hard data can be found (and none in this book) estimates range up to 20,000 deaths per year, mostly in the elderly, caused by cold. For the physician and physiologist particularly interested in cold, the bibliography of 1200 authors will be invaluable, but the book is not as helpful to the layman as is Wilkerson, Bangs and Hayward’s small book. I recommend it strongly for cold specialists but less warmly for others.

Charles S. Houston, M.D.

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