Clara Mass Medical Center, CMMC, worked with local EMS to introduce a new cooling therapy for patients in cardiac arrest and are resusitated.
The treatment, also known as hypothermia therapy, cools the body, reducing the brain's need for oxygen, which during cardiac arrest the brain and organs compete for. This potentially reduces risk of brain injury.
“Hypothermia therapy requires an integrated approach to care and we are proud to offer the support and coordination of all areas to make this a reality,” emergency department physician, Dr. Jonathan Gamss, said in a press release. “In certain cases neurology recovery can improve 100 percent. We are looking at making significant improvements in survival and quality of life.”
The new technology is fairly new with high costs but recent scientific research has shown lowering the patient tempature a few degrees after cardiac arrest may improve his or her long-term neurological outcome. CMMC is one of the few hositals that offer this therapy because it is still not considered the standard.
The temperature-management device called the Arctic Sun 5000. The technology uses gel pads to carefully lower a patient’s body temperature to 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
EMS can begin the cooling in the field through intravenous ice-chilled saline and ice packs. The process is then continue at the hospital where the pads allow staff to still perform all necessary tests and procedures, including x-ray and MRI, without interrupting the cooling process.
After the patient’s condition has been stabilized and cooled for 24 hours, the same Arctic Sun system is used to warm the patient slowly to normal body temperature.