Cold Water Syncope

JAMES E. BRICK, CHRISTOPHER M. LOWTHER, STUART M. DEGLIN
1978 Southern medical journal (Birmingham, Ala. Print)  
swimming in cold water ("polar bear" swimming) is growing in popularity and attracting individuals of many ages and athletic backgrounds. case report: A case of 60-year-old woman swimmer who experienced near-syncope after swimming for 20 minutes in cold water (water temperature: 14°c) without a wetsuit. the patient did not have signs of clinicallyrelevant hypothermia but was brought to a sauna after swimming. Pre-existing volume depletion, with subsequent orthostatic hypotension made worse by
more » ... imming in cold water, was the most likely etiology of near-syncope in this patient. clinical improvement was noted when the patient started shivering after being removed from the sauna, and all symptoms resolved after the administration of 1 L of normal saline. conclusion: As cold-water swimming continues to gain in popularity, emergency medicine practitioners may see more cases of swimmingrelated syncope and near-syncope. Depending on the presentation, the priority of treatment may be the correction of volume depletion and orthostatic hypotension, rather than active rewarming.
doi:10.1097/00007611-197812000-00040 fatcat:6q4z4lsmvbdejcbn7ydeh2fa7i