MUSC Heart & Vascular Center

Heart and Vascular Center

Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest Protocol

Therapeutic hypothermia, also known as protective hypothermia, is a medical treatment that lowers a patient's body temperature in order to help reduce the risk of the injury to tissue when cardiac arrest causes insufficient blood flow to areas of the body.

The procedure involves slowly cooling and then re-warming patients over a 48-hour period. Therapeutic hypothermia may be induced via a catheter placed in the patient's femoral vein or through the use of a chilled water blanket or torso vest and leg wraps in direct contact with the patient's skin. Studies have demonstrated that cooling improves neurological outcomes in patients. In 2006, MUSC became one of the first hospitals in South Carolina to implement the Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest Protocol, and continues to use the treatment for eligible cardiac arrest patients.


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