- What Is Therapeutic Hypothermia?
- Side Effects
Targeted temperature management or therapeutic hypothermia may be performed for the management of
- Cardiac arrest
- Hemorrhagic shock (shock because of excessive blood loss)
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neonatal encephalopathy (syndrome of disturbed neurologic function in the earliest days of life in an infant born at or beyond 35 weeks of gestation)
What is targeted temperature management (therapeutic hypothermia)?
Targeted temperature management or therapeutic hypothermia is a type of treatment in which healthcare providers use cooling devices to lower the body temperature for a short time. When a person gets a cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating, and blood flow to the organs including the brain is affected. This can cause lasting damage. Lowering the body temperature to approximately 32-36°C right after a cardiac arrest can reduce the damage to the brain and improves the chances of recovery. Because during hypothermia, various metabolic processes slow down, which leads to a reduced requirement of blood by the organs.
During the procedure, the patient’s body is cooled using an induced hypothermia protocol for 24 hours to a goal temperature of 32-36°C. The goal is to achieve the target temperature as quickly as possible. In most cases, it can be achieved within three to four hours of initiating cooling. Rewarming begins 24 hours after the time of initiation of cooling when the person is brought back to their normal body temperature (around 37°C). During a therapeutic hypothermia procedure, the patient is given medications such as sedatives and painkillers beside medicines to prevent shivering.
The following body responses are associated with therapeutic hypothermia:
- Reduction in brain metabolism (approximately 6-8% per 1°C fall in body temperature) and demand for oxygen and nutrients
- Reduction of brain excitatory substances (such as reduced glutamate release)
- Preservation of brain structure and function along with stabilizing the blood-brain barrier (the barrier that allows selective passage of substances from the blood to the brain and vice versa)
- Reduced formation of the damaging free radicals and toxins
- The reduced tendency for cell damage and death
- Restoration of normal body processes such as protein synthesis and gene expression
- Inhibition of harmful inflammatory products (e.g., cytokines, interleukins and arachidonic acid cascade end products)
In the heart, hypothermia may reduce the area of injury, reduce the metabolic demand, and preserve the energy stores of the heart cells. Thus, therapeutic hypothermia reduces and retards the damaging processes that would occur if the patient is kept at their normal body temperature. It, therefore, allows the doctor to buy time until definitive therapy is provided to the patient.
What are the side effects of targeted temperature management (therapeutic hypothermia)?
The major side effects of therapeutic hypothermia are
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Therapeutic Hypothermia Treatment Related Articles
Brain aneurysm (cerebral aneurysm) is caused by microscopic damage to artery walls, infections of the artery walls, tumors, trauma, drug abuse. Symptoms include headache, numbness of the face, dilated pupils, changes in vision, the "worst headache of your life," or a painful stiff neck. Immediate treatment for a brain aneurysm is crucial for patient survival.
Dementia FoodsWhat foods are associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia? Cognitive function is predicated on good nutrition. Learn how vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish can lead to a healthier brain. Discover why foods that stave off heart disease are good for brain function.
Brain HemorrhageA brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused when an artery bursts in the brain, causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissue. Causes of brain hemorrhage include aneurysm, liver disease, brain tumor, head trauma, high blood pressure, and blood vessel abnormalities. Symptoms include sudden severe headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, tingling, numbness, vision changes, loss of consciousness, and loss of fine motor skills. Treatment depends upon the cause, location, and size of the brain hemorrhage.
Brain PictureThe brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body. See a picture of the Brain and learn more about the health topic.
10 Facts About the Amazing Brain QuizTake this quiz to learn about your amazing brain! It's the most complex part of your body, and is responsible for many functions, including how you behave!
Concussions & Brain Damage QuizWhat is a concussion? Learn causes, symptoms, and treatments of this very common traumatic brain injury by taking this quick quiz.
Deep Brain StimulationDeep brain stimulation (or DBS) is a way to inactivate parts of the brain that cause Parkinson's disease and its associated symptoms without purposefully destroying the brain. In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are placed in the thalamus (to treat essential tremor and multiple sclerosis) or in the globus pallidus (for Parkinson's disease).
Head Injury (Brain Injury)
In the United States, head injuries are one of the most common causes of death and disability. Head injuries due to bleeding are generally classified by the location of the blood within the skull, these include:
- epidural hematoma,
- subdural hematoma,
- subarachnoid bleed,
- intracranial bleed,
- sheer injury, edema, and
- skull fracture.
Some common symptoms of a head injury include:
- bleeding from the ear,
- speech difficulties,
- difficulty swallowing, and
- body numbness.
Treatment of a head injury depends on the type and severity of the injury.
Heart AttackA heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to prevent or stop this damage to the heart muscle. Heart attack treatments included medications, procedures, and surgeries to protect the heart muscle against injury.
Heart Attack vs. Stroke Symptoms, Differences, and Similarities
Heart attack usually is caused by a clot that stops blood flow supplying oxygen to an area of heart muscle, which results in heart muscle death. Stroke or "brain attack" is caused by a loss of blood supply to the brain (usually a blood clot) or by hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding within the brain), which results in brain tissue death. Both heart attack and stroke usually come on suddenly, produce similar symptoms, can be disabling, and can be fatal.
The classic symptoms and warning signs of heart attack are different.
Classic heart attack warning signs are chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, pain that radiates to the shoulders, back, arms, belly, jaw, or teeth, sweating, fainting, and nausea and vomiting. Moreover, woman having a heart attack may have additional symptoms like abdominal pain or discomfort, dizziness, clammy skin, and moderate to severe fatigue.
The classic symptoms and warning signs that a person is having a stroke are confusion or loss of consciousness, sudden severe headache, speech problems, problems seeing out of one or both eyes, and numbness or weakness of only one side of the body. Moreover, a woman having a stroke may have additional warning symptom and signs like shortness of breath, disorientation, agitation, behavioral changes, weakness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and hiccups.
Recognition of stroke symptoms is vital for emergency treatment. The acronym "FAST" stands for recognition of Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and a Time for action.
If you experience the symptoms heart attack or stroke (FAST) or see them develop in another person, then contact 911 immediately.
Heart Disease SlideshowHeart disease prevention includes controlling risk factors like diet, exercise, and stress. Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk.
Heart SymptomsHeart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and know the symptoms that may require an immediate trip to the hospital.
How the Brain Works: Test Your Medical IQTake this quiz and test your knowledge of how the human brain works. You may be surprised!
Is Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery Brain Surgery?Trigeminal neuralgia surgery is a treatment for nerve pain (neuralgia) that is caused by the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve exits the brain directly through the skull to supply sensation to the face. The procedure frees the trapped nerve and stops the transmission of pain signals from the trigeminal nerve to the brain. The brain is not involved in trigeminal neuralgia surgery, but some types require an opening in the skull.
Left Brain vs. Right Brain (Characteristics, Differences, and Functions)
Are left brain vs. right brain theories myth or fact? They actually are a little of both! Scientists and researchers have tried to answer this question since the 1800s. In the 1960s, neuroscientist Roger Sperry began to research the right brain vs. left brain theory. In 1981, together with neuroscientist Torsten Wiesel, he won the won the Nobel Prize for his "split-brain" theory. In the split-brain theory, the left and right sides of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum (where place each side of the brain meets and sends signals and communicates with other), and that both the left and right sides of the brain have specific functions.
What is an example of right-brain vs. left brain theory? Scientists now know that for most people who are right-handed, the language center of their brain is located in the Broca are of the left side of the brain. Moreover, research suggests that that emotions and creativity are located in the right-side of the brain. The medical field calls this "brain lateralization." While researchers and scientists don't fully understand the functions of the right-and -left sides of the brain or hemispheres, but through ongoing research there are endless possibilities in learning how the brain functions.
REFERENCE: Corballis, MC. "Left Brain, Right Brain: Facts and Fantasies." PLoS Biol. 2014 Jan; 12(1): e1001767.
Weird Body QuirksIce cream brain freeze, hiccups, charley horses, vertigo--what's behind these weird body quirks anyway? Our experts explain several odd body behaviors.