McLaren Medical Center-Lapeer Region will soon add a new component to their emergency cardiac care, Therapeutic Hypothermia.
Time is of the essence for cardiac arrest patients. Damage to vital organs and tissues can result because blood flow and oxygen aren’t delivered throughout the body. Brain injury is likely if a patient is left untreated for more than five minutes. McLaren-Lapeer Region physicians will soon be able to initiate therapeutic hypothermia using a temperature management system call the Arctic Sun. The machine acts as a refrigeration unit. Adhesive gel pads connected to the device are wrapped around the patient’s torso and upper legs. Then the patient’s body temperature is lowered to 91.5 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours before being slowly raised back to normal temperature. The entire process takes about a day and a half to complete. Research indicates that using therapeutic hypothermia aids in promoting neurological recovery for patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest.
McLaren-Lapeer Region’s comprehensive cardiac care program encompasses a three tiered approach. Two of the three tiers were implemented in September, 2011. Significant improvements in patient’s survival rate have already been observed. The first tier was the implementation of an impedance threshold device. The second tier was the introduction of the LUCAS, a mechanical chest compression device.
“This is the third tier in our comprehensive cardiac care program,” said Ken Sanger, Chief Nursing Officer. “By utilizing this modality we will continue to improve survival rate, greatly limit disability and help our patients achieve a meaningful recovery post cardiac arrest.”
A grant was written and monies were secured from the McLaren-Lapeer Region Foundation to purchase the Arctic Sun system. “The Foundation Board believes that this vital treatment has the potential to impact the lives of many Lapeer County residents, and bring comprehensive cardiac care closer to home,” said Tim Turkleson, Board Chairman.