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anoxic brain injury, cardiac arrest, induced hypothermia, therapeutic hypothermia



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


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.