Hypothermia is a Possible Cure?

Disclaimer

2014-0421 Cold DayI am not a doctor, nurse, social worker, lab technician, or therapist. I am not an investment banker, consultant to, or employee/shareholder of, any company associated with the product or service identified in the article. I did not, and I will not, benefit financially by writing this post or sharing the article information. I cannot easily confirm the viability of the solution mentioned in the article. Text under the heading “Article” came from PRWEB.

Introduction

The solution (therapeutic hypothermia equipment) identified in the article is intended to prevent brain injury by treating patients who experience events (such as cardiac arrest and stroke) that are frequently associated with brain injury. There are at least 10 therapeutic hypothermia devices currently on the market, but some people believe the equipment is highly underutilized. According to the PRWEB article, “Currently available therapeutic hypothermia devices are ineffective, difficult to use, or impractical, however, a new device patented by Sergei Shushunov, MD will revolutionize the therapeutic hypothermia equipment market.”

Article

1.3 million Americans every year suffer cardiac arrest and stroke resulting in brain injury. Damage occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen for extended periods of time. The most effective way to combat injury is to induce therapeutic hypothermia, or in other words, to cool the body.

Of patients who survive cardiac arrest 93% to 97% never fully return to previous levels of functioning, many are left with reduced brain function or in comas, a burden for the patient, families and costing hundreds of millions of dollars in supportive care for the rest of their lives. Much of this could be prevented if the equipment available were truly effective, compact and easy to use.

Most cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital where hypothermia equipment is just not available. Upon arrival to the emergency room, medical teams are busy stabilizing patients and don’t have time to implement hypothermia treatment. By the time a patient can be transferred to Intensive Care Unit the window of opportunity [two to four hours] is long gone.

Dr. Sergei Shushunov, a pediatric intensive care expert, realizing the problem due to equipment limitations, devised a solution. Every patient suffering from cardiac arrest or stroke is temporarily placed on mechanical ventilator. He figured out it made sense to use this to induce hypothermia by administering very cold air to the lungs. An adult person’s lungs have a surface area of 1000 square feet, making them a powerful heat exchanger. Using cold air through the existing ventilator is all that is necessary to rapidly induce therapeutic hypothermia.

Dr. Shushunov and the University of Kansas Department of Engineering have designed and built a prototype [of the proposed solution]. Initiation of therapeutic hypothermia can be started in pre-hospital settings and continued through emergency room or intensive care by using the same device without any interruptions. No more barriers to treatment! Therapeutic hypothermia can start as early as in the ambulance and continue for as long as necessary without hindering resuscitation efforts.

Credits

Click here to read another Beyond Injury post about amazing treatments.

Sergei Shushunov, MD for his part in creating the proposed solution and building a prototype; University of Kansas for its part in creating the proposed solution and building a prototype; PRWEB for committing its resources to publishing the article; Google for helping me find the article and picture; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.

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