Therapeutic hypothermia treatment services are available to patients in our emergency department, ICU and cardiac cath lab. If a patient's heart stops and their heartbeat is restored, but the patient remains unconscious, the patient has the potential to benefit from this therapy.
This treatment is recommended by the American Heart Association for patients who meet certain criteria.
How does this treatment work?
Therapeutic hypothermia is achieved with the Arctic Sun Temperature Management System. After a patient's heart stops, events can occur that may last for hours, causing swelling and injury to brain tissue. The Arctic Sun lowers a patients body temperature for an extended period of time, reducing the risk of injury to the brain.
Does the treatment cause discomfort or pain?
The Arctic Sun uses water based gel pads that are placed on the torso and thighs of the patient to mimic being placed in cold water, lowering the patient's body temperature to 91.4° for a 24 hour period. After 24 hours of cooling, the patient is slowly rewarmed to a normal temperature using the same gel pads and the Arctic Sun machine. The pads themselves are not uncomfortable and due to the water-based gel, can be comfortably removed without pulling skin or hair. When exposed to cold temperatures, the body naturally reacts by shivering to produce heat. For this reason, doctors may order medication to prevent shivering and pain in order to keep the patient comfortable during therapy.