A Guide to Making Stochastic and Single Point Predictions Using the Cold Exposure Survival Model (CESM)


  1. Keefe, A.A.
  2. Tikuisis, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
CESM is a commercially available, user-friendly PC application that predicts the status and survivability of hypothermic casualties based on biophysical and physiological principles. It has been calibrated against accidental and laboratory cold exposure data across a wide range of temperatures and is continuously refined as new knowledge emerges. Its advantage over other survival models lies in the fact that it can be customized to account for unique combinations of human, environmental and clothing characteristics present in any survival situation. In addition, it can be applied across a broad range of environmental conditions from air exposure, or partial to full water immersion. The stochastic upgrade enhances the prediction capabilities by offering a probability of survival when casualty information is not available or multiple casualties are involved. CESM was originally designed as a SAR decision aid, but it has proven to be a very effective education tool. Hypothetical scenarios may be examined, giving immediate feedback of the effect of such variable as wetness, wind, body fatness and various clothing items. Predictions assume that casualties are in a fixed, non-active position, and have a normal cooling response to cold.

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Cold Exposure Survival Model;CESM;Cold;Search and Rescue;SAR;modelling;immersion;Survival time;Cold exposure;Cold water exposure;Body cooling
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TM-2008-061 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jan 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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