Del. heart patients to receive induced hypothermia

March 31, 2009 1:45:26 PM PDT
New Castle County paramedics have started using cold IV fluids and ice packs for heart attack patients with a restored pulse. Known as Induced Hypothermia Treatment, ambulances will now have coolers to chill IV fluids and keep ice packs frozen. When a patient's pulse is restored after cardiac arrest, paramedics say the fluids will be used and the ice packs placed around the person to cool their bodies.

Such cooling has been shown to improve a patient's long-term outcome, improve survival and neurological health. A lower body temperature reduces the brain's metabolic demands and reduces swelling and pressure inside the skull.

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