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Resuscitation and Survival Rates from Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Nearly Double with Comprehensive Treatment Protocol
Date:11/16/2009

viable patient to VCU."

VCU Medical Center is continuously staffed with a team of specially trained physicians and nurses experienced in post-resuscitation care who continue the rapid cooling process by placing a high-tech plastic coil into a large vein soon after arrival at the emergency department. Patients are treated by specially trained coronary care unit nurses and physicians who administer complex "goal-directed" treatment protocols and maintain the patient's body temperature at 93° F for at least 24 hours, following which the patient is gradually rewarmed in a computer-controlled sequence.

In previous work, researchers have found that patients who undergo controlled hypothermia using simple techniques such as cooling blankets and ice packs, have a better chance of brain recovery and survival following cardiac arrest than those whose body temperature is not lowered. However, such techniques are crude and often result in large temperature swings. The catheter technique used at VCU allows precise control of the cooling and rewarming process in an attempt to minimize brain injury following the cardiac arrest. The comprehensive ARCTIC approach is showing greater benefit than that which was seen using just conventional resuscitation and simple cooling techniques alone.

"One of the novel things about VCU's ARCTIC program is that we have been able to seamlessly incorporate the care of the cardiac arrest patient from the time they arrest in their home to the time they return home with good neurologic survival," said Mary Ann Peberdy, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the VCU School of Medicine.

"We have been able to develop a partnership with our EMS system as well as our referring hospitals and ini
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