June 1, 2017 – Cooling Down
Anchor lead: People who’ve had certain kinds of heart attacks should be cooled down afterward, Elizabeth Tracey reports
The American Academy of Neurology has recently advised that when people experience certain types of heart attacks, they should be cooled down for a period afterward to minimize damage, especially to the brain. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, reviews the guidelines.
Blaha: Recent guidelines from our neurology colleagues reinforce the recommendation for cooling the body after an out of hospital arrest. You have to be sure that you’re cooling the right patients. Patients who are found without a heart rhythm out in the field do not benefit from cooling as much as those patients who are found with a heart rhythm who receive a shock and receive a return of circulation, and are subsequently cooled, thus improving their neurological outcomes. :25
Blaha says it’s very important to determine what kind of cardiac event has taken place before cooling is instituted, and notes that one common symptom following a heart attack is the development of fever, which cooling the body also benefits. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.