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Are high WCC and CRP signs of hypothermia?

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Posted on Tue, 24 May 2016
Question: I understand that a high WCC and High C Reactive Protein level in conjunction with an oral temperature of 37.8C or above can (but need not) be suggestive of an infection. However, I have been told that quite elderly people can (but need not) have an infection if they have a high WCC and CRP and are hypothermic. If an oral temperature of 37.8C or above constitutes a fever then what temperature range (both the oral and ear temperatures) would be indicative of hypothermia in a quite elderly person?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah (48 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Less than 36C(oral/ear) is indicative of hypothermia in the elderly!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

Oral and auricular temperatures of less than 36C are suggestive of hypothermia in the elderly. Hypothermia in the elderly in the presence of elevated WBC is suggestive of a more severe infection in which the body defenses are overpowered and is unable to mount a resistance by increasing the number of WBC to fight this infection.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Above all, thanks for using our services.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ivo Ditah (3 days later)
Thank you Dr Ditah for your previous assistance. If an elderly patient has the following temperatures: Day 1: 34.6C, 35.3C, 36.3C; Day 3: 34.3C, 36C, 36.2, 36C; Day 4: 36.1C; Day 5: 36C, 35.5C; Day 6: 35.5C, 35.9C, 36C; Day 7: 36.2C, 35.1, 36C; Day 8: 36C; Day 10: 36.6C, 35.4C; Day 11: 34.7C, 35.4C; Day 13 35.2C; Day 14: 36C, 35.5C 35.5C; Day 16: 35.5C, 35.8C; Day 17: 34.5C, 34.8C then how would you classify the patient? The patient mainly has temperatures below 36C but not always? I'm baffled by the variation in temperature. Would the patient be classified as hypothermic, generally hypothermic or would some other medical description be used to describe the range of his temperatures? He is sometimes on paracetamol/panadol.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah (34 hours later)
Brief Answer:
what’s the weather condition like?

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for this followup question.

I have reviewed these temperatures fully. This is normal and most likely explained by variation of temperatures during the day as body temperatures are closely influenced by the environmental temperatures. Unless this low temperature stays low or does’t respond to heating measures for us to be worried about. Paracetamol would reduce fever but would not cause any abnormal temperature. Propranolol has no effect on temperature.

I hope this helps. I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ivo Ditah (11 hours later)
Thank you again Dr. Ditah. I probably should have mentioned that the elderly person is in a rehab ward after having a fall and suffering a pubic XXXXXXX fracture. The ward is air conditioned and possibly the room is too cool. I'm not sure. Before he was sent to the rehab ward he was in a different ward and his temperature was down then, too, although I don't know the details. Also his WBC and CRP were both up in the first ward and then fell after being treated with two full courses of antibiotics for suspected pneumonia, but remained high and are still high in the rehab ward. However, I realize that a high WBC and CRP indicate that something is wrong but are very nonspecific, that is, can have numerous causes. That is why I have been so focused on the temperature. But it looks as if I have been unnecessarily concerned.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah (25 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Certainly, these are no major concerns for now!

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

You are correct and CRP simply says something is wrong and not what the issue is. I will say these temperatures are clearly not harmful as harmful temperatures will most likely not change so often.

BE calm and alert if any other symptoms come up but the WBC and CRP alone should not get you running around.

I wish you well and keep me updated.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Ivo Ditah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

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Are high WCC and CRP signs of hypothermia?

Brief Answer: Less than 36C(oral/ear) is indicative of hypothermia in the elderly! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. Oral and auricular temperatures of less than 36C are suggestive of hypothermia in the elderly. Hypothermia in the elderly in the presence of elevated WBC is suggestive of a more severe infection in which the body defenses are overpowered and is unable to mount a resistance by increasing the number of WBC to fight this infection. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Above all, thanks for using our services.