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Targeted Temperature Management for Improved Outcomes: Are We There Yet?

Carwell, Micaela, MSN, BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000199
Original Articles

Therapeutic hypothermia, also referred to as targeted temperature management, has been a component of the postcardiac arrest treatment guidelines since 2010. Although almost a decade has passed since its inclusion in the postarrest guidelines, many unanswered questions remain regarding selection of the appropriate patient population, optimal target temperature, ideal window of time in which to initiate therapy after arrest, most efficient, safe, and accurate equipment choice for inducing and maintaining hypothermia, most effective duration of treatment, and rate of cooling or rewarming. On a national and international level, critical care nurses are in a unique position to participate in research that will define targeted temperature management protocols and practices. Nurses are also ideal for standardizing the targeted temperature management policy and protocol locally and nationally based on current available evidence. This review aims to serve 2 purposes: first, to provide a broad update on the current clarifications and limitations per research findings on target temperature management therapy; second, to explain how critical care nurses can use this updated information to improve outcomes for their patients with cardiac arrest.

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia.

Correspondence: Micaela Carwell, MSN, BSN, RN, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Heart & Vascular ICU, Clinical Nurse II, University of Pennsylvania Health System, 1429 Fitzwater St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (

The author is grateful to Deborah Becker, PhD, ACNP, BC, CHSE, FAAN, for her mentorship and guidance during the writing process of this article.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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