Examples Of Induced Hypothermia

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When a medical team deliberately reduces the core body temperature of their patients, they are using a technique called induced hypothermia. A human’s healthy, body temperature will typically hover around 98.6 degrees fahrenheit; however, once hypothermia consumes the patient, their body will reduce to a temperature between 89.6 and 93.2 degrees fahrenheit. Today, there are technologies that will use cooling blankets or cooling catheters, which contain cold saline and are inserted into the femoral vein, to rapidly drop the patient’s body temperature. The ultimate goal of induced hypothermia is to prevent neural and cell damage in the brain after traumatic brain injured patients. Typically, the brain will not survive without oxygen for…show more content…
Therefore, if a patient suffers from cardiac arrest, they are in serious danger from both heart failure and severe neural damage. For example, when cardiac arrest occurs outside of the hospital, it kills on average 250,000 Americans every year. Unfortunately, the survival rate is only six percent during these conditions and only 20 percent of all the survivals recovered with with minimal neurological damage. During cardiac arrest, which is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, the circulatory system will completely shut down and oxygen becomes incapable of reaching the brain. Brain cells will quickly deteriorate and die without the presence of oxygen and if the heart is restored, the immune system removes the dead brain cells by using free radicals, which causes further brain damage when not contained properly. With the newly developed knowledge of induced hypothermia, doctors say that patients have 3.5 times better chance of fully recovering from cardiac arrest with zero neurological damage. One reason that chilling the body in a controlled environment has become so successful is that it can counter the effects of neuroexcitation, which causes the nerves to become excited, by keeping homeostasis of calcium and glutamate because a major influx of calcium and glutamate is very toxic to nerve cells. Another important system that is altered by induced hypothermia is the immune system. The low body temperature from the cooling pads causes the immune system to slow down. Typically, a strong immune system is extremely crucial to the body’s overall health from exterior infections and diseases; however, during the process of induced hypothermia, a decrease in immune system is prefered because it reduces the risk of inflammatory reactions. In a healthy body, inflammatory reactions are important because they will create an increase in blood circulation, which will normally help fight off
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