Therapeutic hypothermia (TH), where patients are cooled to between 32°C and 36°C for a period of 12-24 hours and then gradually rewarmed, may reduce the risk of ischemic injury to cerebral tissue following a period of insufficient blood flow. This strategy of TH could improve mortality and neurological function in patients who have experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA). The necessity of TH in OOHCA was challenged in late 2013 by a fascinating and potentially practice changing publication, which found that targeting a temperature of 36°C had similar outcomes to cooling patients to 33°C. This article reviews the current literature and summarizes the uncertainties and questions raised when considering cooling of patients at risk of hypoxic brain injury. Irrespective of whether TH or targeted temperature management is deployed in patients at risk of hypoxic brain injury, it would seem that avoiding hyperpyrexia is important and that a more rigorous approach to neurological evaluation is mandated.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2015|