In this article we will tell you about therapeutic hypothermia side effects. Here’s the details.
The human brain and other organs can be subjected to secondary damage due to certain medical conditions like cardiac arrest or other diseases. When such a mishap occurs in patients, the initial injury is most times followed by either an aggravation of the diseased condition or a neurological morbid state. In a few cases, patients may even expire.
To evade such unfortunate circumstances, therapeutic professionals follow a targeted temperature management medically termed as Therapeutic Hypothermia. This procedure is carried out to save the patient’s brain and other organ tissues from further severe damage after a cardiac arrest. This life saving method also helps those patients put under neurosurgical or neurological intensive care.
Therapeutic Hypothermia and its mechanism of procedures is a complex process that is yet to be implicitly understood among the medical fraternity. In this, cold intravenous saline, ice packs or cooling blankets are used to chill the patient’s body to around six degrees Fahrenheit.
Such cold temperature condition is maintained for nearly 24 hours after which a gradual increase in temperature is brought about until it comes to the normal body temperature. The main aim of this type of cooling management is to control or soothe any secondary injuries that may follow a primary impact/injury (that is the cardiac arrest).
Although administering Therapeutic hypothermia may help a patient from collapsing further, there are many of its side effects which can counteract or negate the initial positive outcome. This medical procedure although accepted since the past few decades has been in and out of the Healthcare circle but is still observed as a potential life saving means especially to save hypoxic brain. A lot of research is still necessary to tout this treatment option as the novel standard care.
This life saving measure however has its own flip side in form of side effects that it can cause like
- An increase in potassium and glucose levels in blood
- An increased risk of infections due to low temperatures
- A reduced cardiac index
- Chances of abnormal blood clotting due to the cooling management
- Can bring about uncontrolled shivering
- Onset of pulmonary edema because of the use of chilling fluids to maintain low temperatures.
Despite all the above rebounding side effects, yet Therapeutic Hypothermia is considered as a boon to cardiac patients. This procedure is hyped that it outweighs the outcome of side effects it may bring about.
Nearly about 50% of the cardiac patients have shown to gain an improved brain function when Therapeutic hypothermia was induced in all of them.
Although implementing the life saving therapeutic hypothermia procedure may seem expensive, intimidating, and labor intensive, this is one measure that provides satisfactory supportive care. If the patient had been provided the right post- cardiac arrest critical care through an emergency department the addition of therapeutic hypothermia will become quite easy.
All the same, whether Therapeutic Hypothermia is administered or not, all the cardiac arrest patients need constant physician evaluation, low ratio nursing the emergency department, hemodynamic support, invasive monitoring and aggressive interventions.
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