Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia

1912 Words8 Pages

Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia to Improve the Neurologic Outcome After Cardiac Arrest written by Michael Holzer, MD (2002) conducted research to determine if mild systemic hypothermia after resuscitation from cardiac arrest resulting from ventricular fibrillation improves neurologic recovery. Cardiac arrest is known to lead to brain ischemia in a short amount of time; by cooling the body the hope is to preserve the brain on a cellular level. The author cites many preliminary studies with positive results in patients treated with mild hypothermia post-arrest comparing their outcomes favorably to historical controls. His background from the Emergency Department at the Medical University of Vienna provides firsthand experience with patients presenting with cardiac arrest. The critique of this article was formatted by Vlatente (2003) and Burns (2009).

Holzer’s study included 275 patients with the majority, 77%, being male for unknown reasons; half were treated with hypothermia and half with conventional normothermia techniques. This is a reasonably large study for the subject matter and strict inclusion criteria. A total of 3,551 patients were screened to find the 275 that were eligible. The groups were assigned in a randomized controlled fashion with a blind assessment post-study. The abstract provided in the article displayed a good amount of information with a clear and concise background statement. Within the abstract, the methods discussed were exactly as conducted in the study and the means of measurement and results were reported as well. The problem and purpose for the study were established early in the introduction. Findings and conclusions were predictable from early on from the author’s strong int...

... middle of paper ... using this study as a base for future research and development. Any condition that affects cerebral functioning, such as stroke or myocardial infarction could possibly benefit from hypothermia treatment as a neuroprotective agent. With clearly statistically significant data from this excellently conducted study, provided it can be repeated, could serve as a base for integrating this technique into standards of care.


Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2009). The practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Holzer, M. (2002). Mild therapeutic hypothermia to improve the neurologic outcome after

cardiac arrest. The New England Journal of Medicine, 346(8), 549-556.

Valente, S. (2003). Critical analysis of research papers. Journal for Nurses in Staff

Development, 19, 130-142.
Open Document