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Therapeutic Hypothermia Treatment For Cardiac Arrest

The rate of survival for cardiac arrest sufferers can be improved by up to three times by a treatment known therapeutic hypothermia. This is a technique to rescue  the barely alive body cells and hence, limit the damage done by a cardiac arrest. This is good news for heart disease patients.  Cardiac arrests are often due to some hidden conditions. A cardiac arrest sufferers  may not know that they have a heart problem. The most common cause of cardiac is heart disease. The risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, family history, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle.

In therapeutic hypothermia treatment, a cardiac arrest sufferer is rapidly cooled to lower body temperature to about between 32 deg C and 34 deg C. This is done by either circulating saline through the blood or with cooling gel pads wrapped around the body. The lower body temperature will lower the  need for oxygen in the body cells. Hence, the cells are less likely to die after a cardiac arrest. The patient's body temperature is kept low until the heartbeat and blood pressure stabilised for 24 hours. During this period, the patient is kept in a medically induced coma state. After that, the patient is gradually warmed back to normal body temperature and would wake up after a day or two.
Cardiac arrest patients previously would end up in a coma or vegetative state due to brain damage. With therapeutic hypothermia treatment, there is minimal brain damage. For therapeutic hypothermia treatment to work well, the cardiac arrest patient should have a stable pulse and blood pressure. It is normally applied if a patient is unresponsive after being revived.
Patients who are given therapeutic hypothermia treatment reported good memory retention and have far greater survival rate.