Frequently Asked Questions about Induced Hypothermia
Is induced hypothermia painful for the patient?
No. Our protocol allows for liberal use of sedation and pain control. The patient is sedated similar to undergoing anesthesia
Do all cardiac arrest patients receive induced hypothermia?
No. Currently only patients who have a return of a circulation receive induced hypothermia.
Does the American Heart Association recommend induced hypothermia?
Yes. The American Heart Association recommends induced hypothermia for post cardiac arrest care.
How does induced hypothermia help?
Induced hypothermia slows the body’s metabolism down. This allows the body to compensate for injury to the brain
and heart while the patient was not breath and the heart was not beating.
Does induced hypothermia save all patients?
Unfortunately induced hypothermia will not save all patients. Cardiac arrest has many causes and each patient is different.
Induced hypothermia provides the greatest chance of a positive recovery in patients with post cardiac arrest syndrome.
Do all hospitals currently accept induced hypothermia patients?
At this time not all hospitals accept induced hypothermia patients. Patients are transported to the closest facility that
meets criteria for handling induced hypothermia patients. Hospital criteria for receiving induced hypothermia patients include
having an intensive care unit, a cardiac catheterization lab, and induced hypothermia capabilities.
How long will be patients be hypothermic?
Patients generally are cooled for 24 hours. After 24 hours the patient is slowly rewarmed.
How cold do patients get when they receive induced hypothermia?
The goal temperature for induced hypothermia is 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does it take for a patient to reach the goal temperature?
Reaching goal temperature varies between patients but generally takes several hours.
How do you induce hypothermia in the field?
We use ice packs and refrigerated intravenous fluids to start cooling patients in the field prior to reaching the hospital.