A new treatment protocol recently adopted by Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad could mean the difference between a patient’s making a complete recovery from an incidence of cardiac arrest or suffering neurological deficits leading to disability or even death.
Squad paramedic and board member Bob Brown said studies have shown that induced therapeutic hypothermia, or the cooling of the body to 91 degrees using chilled intravenous fluids, increases a person’s chance of survival after resuscitation from cardiac arrest by around 25 percent—from 4 percent to around 30 percent. A recent regional study conducted in the Fredericksburg area showed a much higher rate of survival, he said.
The technique is effective for patients who have been resuscitated so that their pulse and blood pressure are restored but who are still unconscious, with no purposeful response, said Brown. It involves rapidly administering two liters of chilled IV solution and applying ice packs to lower the p...
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