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INFLUENCE OF HYPOXIA ON THERMAL HOMEOSTASIS IN MAN
LOVELACE FOUNDATION FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ALBUQUERQUE NM
The influence of induced hypoxia on core and shell temperatures, metabolic rate, perspiration and other related cardiopulmonary parameters was studied in six healthy subjects under neutral, cold and warm environmental conditions. Mean skin temperatures in all three thermal environments with room air breathing are not different from those in similar environmental conditions with hypoxia. It is concluded that a hypoxic level of tracheal PO2 65 mm Hg does not appreciably influence mean skin temperature in a neutral, cold, or warm environment. Rectal temperature during hypoxia is not different from that during room air breathing in neutral and cold environments. However, this is not true in a warm environment, when rectal temperature is significantly higher during hypoxia than that during room air breathing. The mechanism of this phenomenon cannot be explained on the basis of thermal balance alone. No great influence of hypoxia on shivering or perspiration can be detected under the experimental conditions. The synergistic actions of hypoxic and thermal stresses on total ventilation and heart rate are demonstrated.