Volume 14 Supplement 1
Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest: implementation in UK intensive care units
© BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 1 March 2010
In 2003 the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) published guidelines recommending all patients admitted comatose to hospital following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) with an initial rhythm of ventricular fibrillation should be treated with therapeutic hypothermia for a period of 12 to 24 hours . We aimed to determine how many units are using hypothermia as part of their post-cardiac arrest management and when each of the ICUs implemented the therapy. Other objectives were to determine what cooling techniques are being used, the target temperature and the duration of cooling used.
The 248 UK ICUs listed in the Directory of Critical Care Services were contacted by telephone by one of the authors. The duty ICU consultant or nurse in charge was asked a standardised set of questions.
Generalised implementation of this clinical guideline in the UK has taken about 5 years but now the majority of ICUs are using therapeutic hypothermia as part of post-cardiac arrest management.