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Therapeutic Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest

Erb, Jessica L. DNP, RN, CRNP; Hravnak, Marilyn PhD, RN-BC, CRNP, FCCM, FAAN; Rittenberger, Jon C. MD

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: July 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 7 - p 38–44
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000415959.85050.1a
Feature Articles

Overview: Irreversible brain damage and death are common outcomes after cardiac arrest, even when resuscitation is initially successful. Chances for both survival and a good neurologic outcome are improved when mild hypothermia is induced shortly after reperfusion. Unfortunately, this treatment is often omitted from advanced cardiac life support protocols. The authors discuss the efficacy of therapeutic hypothermia, indications and contraindications for its use, various induction methods, associated complications and adverse effects, and nursing care specific to patients undergoing this procedure.

The efficacy of therapeutic hypothermia is discussed, as well as the indications and contraindications for its use, associated complications, and nursing care specific to patients undergoing this procedure.

Jessica L. Erb is an acute care NP at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital, Marilyn Hravnak is a professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and Jon C. Rittenberger is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, all in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact author: Jessica L. Erb, erbjl@upmc.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.