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Our experiences with therapeutic hypothermia

DOI: 10.2298/mpns0710431p

Keywords: Heart Arrest , Hypothermia , Resuscitation + methods , Treatment Outcome , Myocardial Infarction

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Introduction. The single most important clinically relevant cause of global cerebral ischemia is cardiac arrest. The estimated rate of sudden cardiac arrest is between 40 and 130 cases per 100.000 people per year. Almost 80% of patients initially resuscitated from cardiac arrest remain comatose for more than one hour. One year after cardiac arrest only 10-30% of these patients survive with good neurological outcome. The ability to survive anoxic no-flow states is dramatically increased with protective and preservative hypothermia. The results of clinical studies show a marked neuroprotective effect of mild hypothermia in resuscitation. Material and Methods. In our clinic, 12 patients were treated with therapeutic hypothermia. A combination of intravascular and external method of cooling was used according to the ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) guidelines. The target temperature was 33oC, while the duration of cooling was 24 hours. After that, passive rewarming was allowed. All patients also received other necessary therapy. Results. Six patients (50%) had a complete neurological recovery. Two patients (16.6%) had partial neurological recovery. Four patients (33.3%) remained comatose. Five patients (41.66%) survived, while 7 (58.33%) patients died. The main cause of cardiac arrest was acute myocardial infarction (91.6%). One patient had acute myocarditis. Conclusion. Mild resuscitative hypothermia after cardiac arrest improves neurological outcome and reduces mortality in comatose survivors. .


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