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The benefits of mild hypothermia and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7310 (Published 11 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7310

Hypothermia has been tried for all sorts of medical conditions, perhaps on the basis that bad things happen less quickly at lower temperatures. In a Japanese trial reported in Stroke (2013, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.003143), 39 patients with acute ischaemic stroke were randomised to mild hypothermia (34.5°C) for 48 hours with gradual rewarming, while 36 received usual care without hypothermia. The cooled patients showed a significant reduction in cerebral oedema and haemorrhagic transformation, and better functional results at three months.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has an evil reputation, but caught early it can sometimes be cured by surgery, according to an analysis of the National Cancer Data Repository in Thorax (2013, doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203884). The study found that the survival of 465 patients with resected SCLC was lower than for patients with resected non-SCLC (five year survival 31% and 45%, respectively) but much higher than for patients …

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