Ochsner Cardiologists “Cool” Heart Patients with ThermoSuit System

Added on May 05, 2008 | Filed Under: General News

"Hypothermia" Technology Preserves Brain and Heart Function After Cardiac Arrest

NEW ORLEANS -  "Time lost is brain lost" is a medical analogy that applies to cardiac arrest victims who are often left with impaired cognitive function.  These patients could have a significantly improved recovery if treated immediately with the ThermoSuit System, a non-invasive cooling system that rapidly reduces body temperature before angioplasty. Ochsner Medical Center and Life Recovery Systems ThermoSuit are literally putting cardiac arrest patients "on ice" and significantly improving their neurological and cardiac recovery. Ochsner is the first and only facility in Southeast Louisiana to offer this technology and its multi-disciplinary approach to patient care.

"The ThermoSuit System is the most advanced technology to treat cardiac arrest patients today; it cools a patient in minutes, not hours like similar technologies currently available, when time is of the essence," explains Dr. Paul McMullan, Interventional Cardiologist at Ochsner Medical Center. Dr. McMullan goes on to say "since most cardiac arrest patients already have pre-existing coronary disease and require treatment in a catheterization lab, the ThermoSuit System allows us to cool patients before they receive angioplasty and have the time to protect both the patient's brain and heart." (Cardiac arrest is a condition where the heartbeat stops suddenly and unexpectedly and is totally different than a heart attack which is caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle and it begins to die. Sudden cardiac arrest is typically caused by an abnormal heart rhythm.)

A 50-year-old Ochsner cardiology patient was recently pronounced dead after suffering cardiac arrest.  He was immediately resuscitated at the scene, suffered an additional heart attack, was brought to Ochsner's ER and "cooled" with the ThermoSuit and is now doing very well. He's also had dramatic improvement in his heart function, known as "ejection fraction," or EF, which was at 5% after his cardiac arrest and attack, and is now at 35%. (Average "EF" is 55-60%). 

Ochsner Medical Center is also participating in a clinical trial approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to "cool" heart attack patients investigating the benefit of rapid "cooling" or hypothermia treatment in combination with angioplasty.  The study, co-chaired by Dr. Christopher White, Ochsner's Cardiology Chairman, and Dr. McMullan, hopes to demonstrate the implementation of "cooling" to achieve a target body temperature within 30 minutes or less and the ease of maintaining this temperature for three hours after removing the ThermoSuit.

Ochsner recently received the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award for its commitment to a higher standard of stroke care and its nationally-recognized door-to-balloon times. Ochsner's rapid diagnosis and treatment program is a comprehensive system that provides ER patients with immediate test results by using brain imaging scans, clot-busting medication, and emergency catheter-based reperfusion by on-call, 24/7 Interventional cardiologists.

The Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute is an international leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and includes 27 staff cardiologists, two assistant staff cardiologists, two vascular medicine specialists, 18 cardiology fellows, two interventional cardiology fellows, and 15 midlevel providers as well as 45 cardiovascular beds, a 13-bed coronary care unit, 10 echocardiography/vascular laboratories, and six catheterization laboratories. OHVI also includes seven outpatient satellite health center locations.

ThermoSuit was invented by Dr. Robert Freedman in Alexandria, LA.  Life Recovery Systems, HD, LLC, is focused on developing and providing groundbreaking, innovative medical devices for the emergency medical care market.  The company's mission is to save and preserve quality of life. The learn more, please visit www.life-recovery.com

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