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New clinical practice guidelines address temperature management during heart surgery

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology have released a set of clinical practice guidelines to address management of a patient’s temperature during open heart surgery. The guidelines appear in the August issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and were published simultaneously in two [...]

Static synapses on a moving structure: Mind the gap!

In biology, stability is important. From body temperature to blood pressure and sugar levels, our body ensures that these remain within reasonable limits and do not reach potentially damaging extremes. Neurons in the brain are no different and, in fact, have developed a number of ways to stabilise their electrical activity so as to avoid [...]

Study shows hypothermia occurs during surgery in around half of patients

A study presented at this year’s Euroanaesthesia congress in Berlin (30 May-2 June) shows that hypothermia occurs in around half of patients undergoing surgery, despite national guidelines for its prevention. The study is by Dr Esther Godfrey, Department of Anaesthesiology, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK, and colleagues. Perioperative hypothermia (PH), defined by temperature less than [...]

Longer cooling, lower temperature no improvement for infant oxygen deprivation

The standard treatment for newborns whose brains were deprived of oxygen appears to work better than proposed alternatives, according to a study from a National Institutes of Health research network. The standard treatment involves lowering an infant’s body temperature by about 6 degrees Fahrenheit for 72 hours. Attempts to improve on this treatment by further [...]

Scientists discover a link between the protective effects of cooling on the brain and prevention of neurodegeneration

Researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Toxicology Unit have identified a protective mechanism that kicks in when body temperature is lowered, activating a process that prevents the loss of brain cells and the connections between them. The MRC team discovered that this protective process may be defective in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, contributing to [...]