Munroe Regional Medical Center, Ocala, now uses induced hypothermia to treat patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest. The program, effective Oct. 1, was developed among the hospital, Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Fire Rescue.
The temperature management system developed is a noninvasive patient-cooling system that controls, monitors and maintains core body temperature in the therapeutic range. The therapy can be used for patients who experience cardiac arrest and remain in a comatose state. Research has shown induced hypothermia can reduce the risk of neurological damage.
The system consists of two components: a set of pads that cover portions of the patient's skin (torso and legs) and a control system that circulates temperature-controlled water. The device cools the body to around 91° F, causing mild hypothermia.
"By implementing a 'Code Chill,' we can dramatically improve the lives of patients presenting with cardiac arrest - previously a dismal outcome," said Lon McPherson, MD, senior vice president of medical affairs and chief quality officer.