Therapeutic Hypothermia for Cardiac Arrest
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Hypothermia is a decrease in the core temperature below 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit. There are various medical uses for hypothermia. Therapeutic hypothermia is the only proven effective treatment for post cardiac arrest patients. Hypothermia decreases the amount of cerebral oxygen needed and also lessens the inflammatory response post cardiac arrest. This prevents brain damage and death in patients. There were two major studies done on this topic. One in Europe and one in Australia; they showed very positive outcomes for the patients who were treated with therapeutic hypothermia. More of the patients who received the hypothermic treatment survived compared to those who did not; also patients treated with hypothermia had less brain damage upon hospital discharge. Sudden cardiac arrest is a major health concern in the United States; there are more than 400,000 incidents annually (AHA, 2011). Only five to thirty percent of patients survive hospitalization and make it to hospital discharge (AHA, 2011). Doctors are now discovering the highly effective treatment of doctor induced hypothermia for cardiac arrest patients. Hypothermia is defined as a decrease in the core body temperature below 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit (Ward, 2011). It is then characterized by whether it occurred accidentally or if it was induced purposefully. There are multiple uses for medically induced hypothermia. Doctor induced hypothermia is the most effective therapeutic treatment for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest patients suffer from ischemic brain injury leading to poor neurologic outcomes and death. Doctors will begin to cool patients as soon as recirculation begins. Therapeutic hypothermia works by decreasing the cerebral oxygen consumption. During cardiac arrest circulation does not occur, therefor the vital organs are...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document