WEST COLUMBIA, SC – Lexington Medical Center is having success with a revolutionary new technology for heart attack patients called Therapeutic Hypothermia. The innovative procedure lowers body temperatures to help people who have suffered cardiac arrest make a full recovery.
Therapeutic Hypothermia is for patients who have suffered cardiac arrest and been resuscitated. Doctors inject the patient with cold saline and apply pads to the body to cool the patient to approximately 92 degrees. A normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. The patient stays at the low temperature for 18 to 24 hours. Then, doctors warm the patient gradually. The idea is that lowering body temperature will help limit neurological damage and cell death that can occur after cardiac arrest.
Lexington Medical Center emergency physician Dr. Robert Mearns has researched the procedure. You see a lot of remarkable outcomes, he said.
So far, Therapeutic Hypothermia has been a success at Lexington Medical Center with a 66-year-old Lexington County woman who suffered a heart attack at her home in December. Lexington Medical Center began the procedure on her in the hospital’s emergency room.
For centuries, people have advocated cooling the body to improve recovery in certain situations. The Greek physician Hippocrates, the namesake of the Hippocratic Oath, advocated the packing of wounded soldiers in snow and ice. Napoleon’s surgeon noted that wounded soldiers recovering in the cold had higher survival rates than those kept warm near a fire. And medical experts have found that children who fall through ice can survive extended durations in cold water. Now, that knowledge has weaved its way into modern medicine.
Research suggests Therapeutic Hypothermia may help some victims of stroke, brain injury and trauma, too.
Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Roper Hospital in Charleston, the Mayo Clinic and New York-Presbyterian University Hospitals are some other facilities using the same treatment.
Lexington Medical Center performs the procedure with equipment called Arctic Sun manufactured by Medivance. www.medivance.com. (Photo provided by Medivance).
About Lexington Medical Center
Lexington Medical Center, in West Columbia, S.C., anchors a county-wide health care network that includes six community medical centers throughout Lexington County. The network also includes the largest extended care facility in the state, an occupational health center and physician practices. At its heart is the 384-bed state-of-the-art Lexington Medical Center, with a reputation for the highest quality care. Lexington Medical Center was voted one of the Best Places to Work by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Best Hospital by readers of The State nine years in a row, Best Hospital by readers of The Free Times and Best Place to Have a Baby by readers of Palmetto Parent.