Therapeutic hypothermia can halt neurological damage in cardiac arrest patients
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Therapeutic hypothermia can halt
neurological damage in cardiac arrest patients
Therapeutic hypothermia treatment to improve chances of a full recovery for cardiac arrest patients is now being provided by Parma Community General Hospital, the best hospital in Cuyahoga County for coronary interventions and cardiology services, according to the HealthGrades.
Therapeutic hypothermia is a medical treatment performed at the bedside that lowers an adult patient’s body temperature in order to help reduce the risk of injury to tissue following a period of decreased blood flow such as a cardiac arrest. As soon as the patient’s blood pressure and pulse are restored and the patient meets clinical criteria, the treatment is implemented, typically in Parma Hospital’s Heart Center or the Intensive Care Unit.
“Therapeutic hypothermia for unconscious cardiac arrest survivors improves survival and neurological outcomes,” says Gregory Hickey, DO, medical director of ICU Services at Parma Hospital. “It has been recommended by the American Heart Association.”
In cases where a patient has been quickly resuscitated following a cardiac arrest, modern techniques are utilized to cool the patient’s core temperature to approximately 32 degrees Celsius over a 24-hour period. Frequent blood tests and radiologic tests are done to monitor the patient’s progress.
After 24 hours have passed, the patient’s core body temperature is slowly returned to normal (36 degrees Celsius). At this point, the clinical team is able to evaluate the patient’s neurological function. The patient remains in the ICU or Heart Center during this treatment and may be transferred to a stepdown unit or discharged home, usually within 3-5 days. Follow up with a cardiologist and/or pulmonologist is advised, in addition to regular visits with a primary care physician.
“This is a fascinating technological and clinical advancement,” said Michelle Adams, manager of the Heart Center. “It’s like the patient is in a cold sleep. When you’re cold, the oxygen and metabolic demands on your brain and other organs is decreased. Essentially, the patient is resting. When you warm them and awaken them, you assess their organs, particularly their brain, heart and liver, with the hope that the therapeutic hypothermia halted any potential damage.”
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