Essay about Therapeutic Hypothermia: Preventing Damage After Cardiac Arrest

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Hypothermia protocol for the post cardiac arrest patient has been an evidence based practice of this therapy for about a decade now. This intervention, often used in the critical care setting, is now expanding to primary emergency responders as well. This paper will present some of the notable research that has been done on therapeutic hypothermia, and current use of this intervention.
Control studies, animal studies, and case studies have been published related to these medical interventions. Unfortunately, there are still many healthcare providers not using this intervention. Dainty, Scales, Brooks, Needham, Dorian, Ferguson et al. (2011) study states, “observational research shows that therapeutic hypothermia is delivered inconsistently, incompletely, and often with delay.” In addition a survey that same study found, of Canada and U.S. physicians who replied, only 26% used hypothermia in resuscitated patients (p. 2).
Hypothermia protocol is not universally used at all hospitals, but the facilities that do use it have similar methods. Based on two studies done in 2002 the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) suggested that “unconscious adult patients with spontaneous circulation after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be cooled to 32°C to 34°C for 12 to 24 hours when the initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation (VF)” (Writing Group, Nolan, Morley, Vanden, Hickey, Members of the Advanced Life Support Task Force et al., 2003, p. 118). They also stated it could be beneficial for other rhythms as well. This was the first big step in using hypothermia in the critical care setting. The current protocol still uses that recommendation.

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...rch in Cardiology, 106(5), 697-708.
Hammer, L., Vitrat, F., Savary, D., Debaty, G., Santre, C., Durand, M., et al. (2009). Immediate prehospital hypothermia protocol in comatose survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 27(5), 570-573.
Torgersen, J., Strand, K., Bjelland, T. W., Klepstad, P., Kvale, R., Soreide, E., et al. (2010). Cognitive dysfunction and health-related quality of life after a cardiac arrest and therapeutic hypothermia. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 54(6), 721-728.
Wall, R., J. (2011). Use of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Critical Care Alert, 19(3), 17-20.
Writing Group, Nolan, J. P., Morley, P. T., Vanden Hoek, T. L., Hickey, R. W., Members of the Advanced Life Support Task Force, et al. (2003). Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Circulation, 108(1), 118-121.

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