ICU/Critical Care/hypothermia


My partner was found early hours saturday morning  suffering from hypothermia and was on a breanthing ventilaor until wednesday. The doctors have tried to take him of but he did not cope well so they have now gone through his throat (trache!). No one knows how long he was laying in the cild before he was found or how much if any damage has been done to his brain. I wanted to know what i could be facing. How long could they keep in on the trache. Many thanks Melanie

Dear Melanie,

You do not elaborate much in your question, so I do not know if your friend had a heart attack, a stroke, or simply fell and could not get up. Fortunately, the cold decreases the body's metabolic needs. Therefore, although the rule of thumb is 6 minutes without oxygenation causes irreversible brain damage, does not apply to some one  exposed to hypothermic temperatures. No one knows for sure how long the body can go without oxygen, but 45 minutes is not unheard of.

He can stay on the trash mask indefinitely. There is no time limit. The positive side to it is that it is much easier to wean someone off the ventilator while using a trash collar. The anxiety is decreased and patients can converse, and eventually eat and drink while on the mask. This is not a negative, but more a positive. Wishing you all the best.  

ICU/Critical Care

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Pamela M. Cipriano, DNP, ACNP-BC


My name is Dr. Cipriano. I am able to answer questions regarding critical care issues including the cardiac system, pulmonary system, gastrointestinal system, gallbladder, small bowel obstructions, crohn's disease, diverticulitis, general abdominal surgery, ventilator management, ARDS, dehydration, heart failure, kidney failure, shock. pneumona, surgical complications, disease process.


I am a Hospitalist at a local hospital and in the emergency department. I am on the Medical Staff. I round, admit, discharge, consult and assist with surgeries in the OR. I manage patients in the ICU and Med/Surg floors.

Society of Hospital Medicine American College of Nurse Practitioners Connecticut Advance Practice Nurse Society

Maryville University 2014-2016 Doctor of Nursing Practice University of Connecticut 2007-2011 MSN, Acute Care Track Nurse Practitioner. Board Certified September 2011 Central Connecticut State University 2002-2006 BA Psychology St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing 1991-1993 Diploma Nursing Registered Nurse

Awards and Honors
Golden Key Honor Society; Merit Award Recipient; Scholarship Recipient

Past/Present Clients
Trained at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT - Open Heart Cardiac Intensive Care Post Anesthesia Care Unit & Radiology Internship Interned at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas Trained at St. Mary's Hospital, Waterbury, CT - emergency Department & Hospitalist Program

©2017 All rights reserved.