Lowering the Body Temperature in Post Cardiac Arrest Patients

From the Rocky Mountain News

A Louisville company’s groundbreaking device for lowering body temperatures in victims of brain traumas will be featured on Thursday’s episode of the NBC medical drama ER.

“Patients have walked out of University of Colorado Hospital neurologically intact after suffering prolonged cardiac arrest that normally would have left them brain-dead,” Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency-room physician at CU Hospital, said Monday.

He was referring to the success his staff has had with Arctic Sun, a device made by Medivance of Louisville.

“We’ve all heard stories of someone falling through the ice of a frozen lake, going without oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes, and then when they’re revived, miraculously there’s no brain damage,” Medivance CEO Robert Kline said.

Arctic Sun simulates that immersion into frigid water that seems to slow brain damage, but it does it in a much more controlled way, Kline said.

The device consists of four pads that contain medical electrodes, attached to the patient’s torso with a common hospital adhesive, Hydrogel. Tubes connected to a mobile machine send temperature-controlled water through the energy-transfer pads.

“The water never contacts the patient, but it’s as if it did,” Kline said.

Heard said CU Hospital’s goal is to get the patient to the ideal temperature – often about 92 degrees – within four to six hours of a cardiac arrest.