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Theraputic Hypthermia

            Hypothermia, defined as a core body temperature less than 95 F(35°C) occurs .
             when heat loss exceeds the body's heat production. (Ruffolo p.47) Thermal stability in .
             humans depends on the body's ability to adapt to changes in internal and external .
             temperatures. Heat is transferred throughout tissues and fat, and is released at a rate .
             directly related to the temperature of the environment through radiation, conduction, .
             convection, and evaporation.
             Hypothermia is typically seen as a bad thing; however, various studies have been.
             proving it to be very useful. Traumatic brain injury initiates several metabolic processes .
             that can exacerbate the injury. There is evidence that hypothermia may limit some of these .
             deleterious metabolic responses. In a randomized controlled trial researchers compared .
             the effect of moderate hypothermia and normhypothermia in 82 patients with severe .
             closed head injuries (score of 3 to 7 on the Glasgow Coma Scale) The patients assigned to .
             hypothermia were cooled to 33 degrees C an average of 10 hours after injury, kept at 32 .
             degrees to 33 degrees C for 24 hours, and then re-warmed. A specialist in physical .
             medicine and rehabilitation who was unaware of the treatment assignments evaluated the .
             patients 3, 6, and 12 months later with the use of the Glasgow Outcome Scale. The .
             demographic characteristics, causes, and severity of injury were similar in the hypothermia .
             group and the normothermia groups. At 12 months 62% of the patients in the .
             hypothermia group and 38% in the normothermia had good outcomes (moderate, mild, or .
             no disabilities). The researchers concluded that "Treatment with moderate hypothermia for .
             24hours in patients with severe traumatic brain injury and coma scores of 5 to 7 hastened .
             neurological recovery and may have improved the outcome. (Marion et all).
             Two studies done (one in Australia and the other in Europe) showed the .
             therapeutic value in survivors cardiac arrest.

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