Hypothermia improves outcomes after cardiac arrest

Br J Cardiol 2009;16:269-71 Leave a comment
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Conventional cooling methods can improve survival and reduce neurologic injury after cardiac arrest, a new Cochrane Review reports.

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Conventional cooling methods can improve survival and reduce neurologic injury after cardiac arrest, a new Cochrane Review reports.

In the review, Dr Jasmin Arrich (Medical University of Vienna, Austria) and colleagues explain that although therapeutic hypothermia is recommended in many resuscitation guidelines, it is still a relatively new therapy.

The current review included 1,092 randomised trials of therapeutic hypothermia in adults within six hours of cardiac arrest. Five trials that included adequate data on neurological outcomes, including three that provided individual patient data, were included in a systematic meta-analysis.

In these trials, patients treated with conventional cooling methods were more likely to return to good cerebral performance or suffer only moderate cerebral disability during their hospital stay compared with patients treated with standard resuscitation care (relative risk 1.55).

Several different cooling methods were used in the studies including cooling packs placed around the patient’s head, neck, and torso, a cooling blanket plus cold air, a cooling helmet containing aqueous glycerol, and high-flow haemofiltration with or without direct external cooling of the blood.

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