Hypothermia Treatment Of Cardiac Arrest

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Hypothermia for Cardiac Arrest
Introduction
Survivors of cardiac arrest often suffer from neurological damage when oxygen to the brain is depleted. This ischemia to the brain can cause lesions or damaged areas; which can effect any part of the body that is controlled by that portion of the brain. Decreasing the body temperature of a patient has shown to be effective in decreasing the amount of damage to the brain. Therapeutic hypothermia may be a reasonable treatment for patients following cardiac arrest due to its ability to decrease the impact of ischemia; reducing the number of lesions to the brain and possibly reducing the patient mortality rate. This paper will discuss the benefits, risks, and Mercy Hospital 's protocol for using therapeutic hypothermia following a cardiac arrest.
Article Summary One In the first article, “Caring for Patients Receiving Therapeutic Hypothermia Post Cardiac Arrest in the Intensive Care Unit”, Gardner and MacDonald state that decreasing the body temperature of a patient to 32° to 34° has shown improved outcomes during trials. This treatment is intended for “patients who present with non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, are resuscitated to hemodynamic stability, and remain unresponsive” (Gardner & MacDonald, p. 15). The article states that brain injury occurs when there is a loss of oxygen carrying blood flow to the brain. This damage starts at the cellular level and leads to neurological dysfunction.
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