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Induced Hypothermia
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Summary
Cooling a comatose patient’s body (and brain) after a heart attack using something as simple as icepacks, can prevent brain damage, and can allow the patient to return to a normal life after recovery. Research has shown that such treatment can improve the survival rate of people who have suffered cardiac arrest by as much as 14%. Although scientists know that such individual’s neurologic outcomes are likely to be better than those that don’t receive such treatment, they don’t completely understand what happens in the brain cells. They speculate that if the brain is cooled down, it uses less energy, and is thus less likely to damage itself. The patient needs to be cooled for only 24 hours after cardiac arrest, and then their temperature can be brought back up to normal.
Keywords: induced hypothermia, neurologic outcome, brain cells, cardiac arrest, CPR, defibrillator
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