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DrThomasMd
DrThomasMd, Board Certified Physician
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 64051
Experience:  Classical homeopath also board certified in integrative and holistic medicine. Many years of practice, also all of medicine.
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My mother recently went into cardiac arrest. My father was

Customer Question

My mother recently went into cardiac arrest. My father was there and called the ambulance, which took about 6 minutes to arrive and shock her. He did not perform CPR. Once stabilized, they started her on therapeutic hypothermia. There is no cardiologist
at this hospital, but I assume the hypothermia was orderer from one they consulted with. It was being supervised by a GP who is mostly unfamiliar with the procedure. She was cooled for around 48 hours before they warmed her up and laid off the sedation. It's
been about 18 hours since they did that and she has yet to wake up, although she does open her eyes, she doesn't respond to commands. The ECG showed no signs of damage to the heart, but she does have heart disease with thickening of the heart muscle. The Dr
is planning on testing to see her she can breathe on her own, but after reading this study (http://m.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/not_so_fast__study_suggests_physicians_wait_longer_for_signs_of_brain_recovery_after_hypothermia_used_to_treat_victims_of_cardiac_arrest)
by John Hopkins, it seems like the protocol for therapeutic hypothermia is to wait a lot longer for brain activity. They say in the article that the average wait time for brain function can be 5 - 7 days. My question is, how much should I be concerned about
this? I'm not trying to grasp as extra hope here, but I feel like this is a very important detail that is being over looked as they are asking my father to consider the option of letting her die. Am I way off base here, or should I try to voice this concern?
Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cardiology
Expert:  DrThomasMd replied 1 year ago.

Hello

Research protocols in this area call for cooling for 24 hours and warming of 8 hours.

There is not standard of 5 to 7 days.

However, I would still ask, since communication is good, and it gets everyone thinking.

OK, so that is an initial answer….

Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't ask what is the protocol for cooling and warming time. I'm asking about the recovery time to wake up if possible.The article states that most of the patients who suffered out of hospital cardiac arrest and who woke up after hypothermia treatment did so on the seventh day.
Expert:  DrThomasMd replied 1 year ago.

It is highly variable.

There is no set time.

Beyond a week, however, is far more ominous.

It takes a good 7 days to see how much brain damage someone has.

Hence, logically if someone is in a coma beyond that, this is usually more of a problem.

OK, so that is an initial answer….

Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.