Mild hypothermia may help heal a patient's brain following a heart attack. UW researchers at Harborview Medical Center are studying that potential therapy, using a grant from the Medic One Foundation.
During cardiac arrest, blood flow to the brain stops, putting a patient at risk of permanent brain injury. Previous studies have shown that cooling the body's core temperature after cardiac arrest can help improve survival and neurological function.
This study will enroll 100 patients over two years. Half of the patients will be randomized by paramedics to receive a rapid infusion of two liters of cold normal saline, sedation, and a skeletal muscle relaxant. The other half of the patients will be randomized to standard post-cardiac arrest care. All other aspects of medical and surgical care will be the same for both groups.