Therapeutic Hypothermia for Survivors of Cardiac Arrest in a Community-Based Setting

Authors: Christopher H. Lee, MD, David C. Cone, MD


Survival rates and neurologic outcomes from sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are poor.1,2 Although recent advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) have resulted in somewhat improved survival rates over the past decade, ensuring good neurologic outcome in cardiac arrest survivors continues to be problematic. Even after successful resuscitation and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), debilitating anoxic brain injury has been reported in the majority of survivors.3 The recognition of the frequent problem of persistent neurologic injury after cardiac arrest was evidenced in the American Heart Association/International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (AHA/ILCOR) “Guidelines 2000” for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) where the term “cardiopulmonary-cerebral resuscitation” was introduced in the guideline literature.4

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