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Baptist Using Therapeutic Hypothermia to Save Heart Attack Patients
Date:10/2/2009

On October 19, 2009, Baptist Medical Center's Emergency Department will begin using a new procedure, called therapeutic hypothermia, to increase a patient's chances of survival after their heart has stopped (cardiac arrest).

(Vocus) October 2, 2009 -- On October 19, 2009, Baptist Medical Center's Emergency Department will begin using a new procedure, called therapeutic hypothermia, to increase a patient's chances of survival after their heart has stopped (cardiac arrest).



The new procedure involves decreasing the core body temperature to 89ºF after the patient's heart has been restarted. Cooling may be started by paramedics if they have been able to restart the heart prior to getting the patient to the hospital. This involves injecting a patient with chilled intravenous (IV) fluids. Portable iceboxes (coolers) will be on ambulances to cool down the IV fluids. Upon further stabilization at Baptist's emergency room, the patient then undergoes placement of a specialized cooling catheter into a large vein in the chest and abdomen, which safely cools them down to 89º.

Baptist Emergency Department Medical Director Eric Zoog, MD said, "The American Heart Association has recommended therapeutic hypothermia following resuscitation from cardiac arrest, because the treatment has been shown to significantly improve a patient's chances of survival without brain damage."

He added that Baptist has already used this technique on one patient utilizing chilled water blankets in direct contact with the patient's skin, which enabled the patient to return to the same quality of life he had prior to his heart attack. "This treatment allows us to reduce the impact of a heart attack on a patient's body and increase their chance of survival once th
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