Thursday, December 04, 2008

Is Your Emergency Room Cool?
If you have a heart attack and go into cardiac arrest, you want to go to a hospital with a cooling treatment capability. If you suffer such a fate and are in New York, after Jan 1, ambulances will take you only to hospitals that can perform the relatively new and expensive procedure, even if another hospital is closer.
Most patients who suffer total cardiac arrest outside hospitals die because their brains have been starved of oxygen. But studies show that if the pulse of patients can be restarted and the body temperature cooled to about 8 degrees Fahrenheit below normal, brain damage can be reduced or minimized.
“It was a very slow process in terms of really getting it to take hold,” Dr. Mayer said of the cooling treatment. “One reason is that cardiac arrest patients have just been surrounded by this shroud of therapeutic nihilism. They come in after cardiac arrest, they’re intubated, in a coma, everybody’s reflex thought process in terms of caregivers is ‘Oh God, there’s nothing you can do for these people.’”
Read about the case of Dr. Naqvi. Pretty amazing. I wonder how to find out if any hospital in my town can do this?

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