Therapeutic Hypothermia Protocols in Use at Mount Sinai Queens
Mount Sinai Queens successfully uses hypothermia protocol for a young patient in Queens.
Therapeutic hypothermia is the medically supervised process of intentionally cooling down a patient’s body to lessen chances of brain damage in the aftermath of a heart attack. Recently, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced new citywide protocols for first-responders using the hypothermia approach. Mount Sinai Queens has been using therapeutic hypothermia protocols since January 2009.
Two of several Mount Sinai Queens cases include a woman in her mid-50s and a 44-year-old man, both of whom suffered cardiac arrests. Thanks to the successful use of this hypothermia protocol by emergency medical technicians and Mount Sinai Queens physicians, these patients were revived. “Both patients recovered with little or no neurological damage,” says Aruna Timmireddy, MD, Chief of Critical Care at Mount Sinai Queens.
The non-invasive hypothermia device consists of cooling gel pads and a device that carefully controls the temperature of the water that is being pulled through the pads. With the device, a patient’s core temperature is gradually brought down to about 93°F for 24 hours. This cooling reduces inflammation and other secondary damages to the body and brain. The patient is then slowly warmed up to a normal temperature over another 24 hours. He or she is then ready for any further intervention.
Therapeutic hypothermia is indicated if a patient is experiencing cardiac arrest, has been successfully revived, and is still unconscious, among other criteria.
"Many patients leave the hospital walking and talking at the neurological levels they were before their cardiac event," says Cecilia Martin-Dabu, RN, Associate Director of Nursing for Critical Care and Clinical Nurse Manager of the Intensive Care Unit at Mount Sinai Queens.