National guidelines recommend the use of therapeutic hypothermia to improve outcomes in patients who suffer a heart attack outside of a hospital. The results of a survey of all 73 acute care hospitals in New Jersey evaluating the adoption and implementation of this life-saving treatment from 2004-2011 is published in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management website.*
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) involves reducing the body temperature to below normal levels for a prolonged period to minimize the potential damage caused by traumatic or ischemic injury that reduces blood flow to the tissues.
Factors contributing to the initially slow and more recently accelerated implementation of TH in New Jersey hospitals are described by Derek DeLia and colleagues from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), University of Alabama at Birmingham, Saint Barnabas Medical Center (Livingston, NJ), and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (Newark, NJ). The authors discuss the wide variation observed in the criteria for patient selection for TH across hospitals and the impact that variations in TH use can have on patient care in the article “Post-Cardiac Arrest Therapeutic Hypothermia in New Jersey Hospitals: Analysis of Adoption and Implementation.”
“This communication is important because it focuses on the need of continued adoption and utilization of therapeutic hypothermia targeting cardiac arrest,” says W. Dalton Dietrich, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Neurology and Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. “It is hoped that this journal will continue to provide guidance as more hospitals and treating physicians use this beneficial treatment in limiting the devastating consequences of brain injury.”