Mild hypothermia for post cardiac arrest syndromeBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39315.519201.BE (Published 06 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:459
- Jasmeet Soar, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine1,
- Jerry P Nolan, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine2
- 1Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol BS10 5NB
- 2Royal United Hospital, Bath BA1 3NG
Most people who have a cardiac arrest die. Many who are resuscitated subsequently die over the next few hours or days, and those who survive are at risk of cognitive dysfunction. This gloomy reality has prompted research into interventions to improve the prognosis of cardiac arrest; one of these interventions is the induction of mild hypothermia after spontaneous circulation has been restored.
Apart from patients resuscitated from a very brief cardiac arrest, most survivors will be comatose initially, and those without extensive comorbidity will be admitted to an intensive care unit. Unconscious, mechanically ventilated survivors of cardiac arrest account for one in 17 of all admissions to intensive care in the United Kingdom.1 A third of these patients survive to hospital discharge. In one centre, two thirds of deaths in intensive care in initial survivors of cardiac arrest that occurred out of hospital, and a quarter of deaths after cardiac arrest that occurred in hospital, were attributed primarily to a neurological cause.2
Organ injury caused by …