Cooling is catching on for cardiac arrest patients
By Caleb Hellerman
CNN Senior Medical Producer
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) — Seated on a jetliner, Dr. Mary Gallagher and her husband, Don Dietrich, were about to take off for an anniversary vacation in Puerto Rico. But a glance at her husband of five years set off an alarm — he was gasping for breath. Gallagher, an anesthesiologist, knew the signs: Dietrich was in cardiac arrest.
Gallagher ran to tell the pilot; someone called 911 from a cell phone; another passenger started CPR. Paramedics appeared and then Gallagher made a crucial decision: Even though protocol called for Dietrich to be taken to the nearest hospital, three miles away, she insisted he go twice as far, to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and its Center for Resuscitation Science.
By the time Dietrich hit the emergency room, he had a weak pulse. At most hospitals, standard treatment is to sit tight and hope for the best. But at UPenn, doctors hooked Dietrich to an intravenous line of chilled saline solution, dropping his body temperature to a cool 91 degrees.
Steve’s note: Knowing about “Cooling” is one of the easy ways you can save your own or another’s life. Please take the time to read this & also forward / email this to others.