Cooling Therapy for Heart Attack Patients

Published On 07/11/2011

Methodist University Hospital is the first hospital in West Tennessee to offer therapeutic cooling therapy for cardiac arrest patients who meet particular criteria.

Dr. Ice cooling therapy for heart attack patients involves dropping a patient’s body temperature about eight degrees Fahrenheit below normal. The purpose of cooling patients down is to help prevent or reduce the amount of brain damage from the loss of oxygen. It can mean the difference between losing a patient or leaving them in a vegetative state versus being able to send them home to resume their lives.

Cooling therapy works by chilling patients for 24 hours under careful observation in the intensive care unit and then rewarming them for another 12 to 24 hours. There are several methods to cool patients including saline drips and cold catheters. Methodist University Hospital uses cooling blankets to lower a patient’s body temperature.

We are use an external cooling system so we can begin treating patients as soon as possible while we assess the intravascular cooling devices.

Our plans are to implement cooling therapy in the other three adult hospitals in the Memphis area, Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, Methodist North Hospital, and Methodist South Hospital. All four hospitals are currently certified chest pain centers which brings high-level cardiac care to patients in all corners of our community which is vitally important when treating heart attacks.