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Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181a23ec1
Article

The Use of Hypothermia as a Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

Rupich, Kristin

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Abstract

Hypothermia has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and may have benefit in the treatment of head injuries. However, it is a controversial treatment in traumatic brain injury, and to date, there are no specific recommendations for its use. This article examines six research studies investigating the use of hypothermia as a treatment in patients with traumatic brain injury. All studies were prospective trials and compared a controlled normothermia group with a hypothermia group. Studies were compared by sample population, methods of hypothermia, outcomes, and conclusions. The leading variable in each study was hypothermia. However, each study used a different method of cooling, goal temperature, and duration of cooling. Through the comparison of these studies, a recommendation for change in practice cannot be made. Nevertheless, there may be benefits to hypothermia in traumatic brain injury, and suggestions for future research are identified.

© 2009 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

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