Arm/hand cooling in the cold exposure survival model


  1. Tikuisis, P.
  2. Keefe, A.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
The previously developed Cold Exposure Survival Model (CESM) is limited to predictions of cognitive impairment and survival time (time to lethal hypothermia) under conditions of cold exposure. The present development addresses motor function impairment of the arms and hands that usually occurs before the onset of lethal hypothermia. Two data sources were used for this purpose, one based on a field study designed to simulate survival situations and the other based on a review of the literature. The field study involved 28 healthy males on survival training divided into five groups and exposed for 6 continuous days on different occasions during two winter seasons. Despite mean (+ or - SD) air temperatures ranging from -24.4 + or - 3.9 to 4.4 + or - 2.5C among the groups, deep body temperature (Tcore) remained normal averaging from 37.1 to 37.5C. However, finger temperature (Tfinger) was significantly correlated to Tair as follows: Tfinger = 16.7 + 0.28xTair (r=0.53;p< 0.0001). Grip strength, knot-tying, and nut-bolt assembly performance decreased most for the coldest-exposed group, which is consistent with the low Tfinger measured for this group (9.4 + or - 3.4C). TRUNCATED

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Arm cooling;Hand cooling;Body cooling;Survival time
Report Number
DCIEM-TR-2001-157 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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