A low-tech and no-cost approach to induce mild hypothermia in postcardiac arrest patients
© BioMed Central Ltd. 2004
Published: 15 March 2004
Backgrounds and goals
Mild induced hypothermia (MIH) has become a standard in neuroprotective treatment for anoxic brain injury after cardiac arrest. Different surface cooling protocols have been successfully used .
Materials and methods
We implemented MIH by use of ice-water-soaked towels over the torso and legs in combination with sedation/muscle paralysis to avoid shivering after prehospital cardiac arrest in patients, age 15–80 years, with persistent coma and lack of cardiogenic shock. The target temperature (33 ± 1°C) was maintained for 12–24 hours. We evaluated the feasibility of our protocol.
The mean time to reach the target temperature was 4.5 hours (0–12 hours). MIH was maintained for a median 13 hours (4–26 hours). The rewarming period to 37°C took a median of 8.75 hours (3–21.5 hours). MIH treatment was followed by fever (> 37.9°C) in 23 patients (88%).
MIH by use of our external cooling protocol is feasible, simple and inexpensive. However, surface cooling is tardy, imprecise and in some patients unsuccessful.