Vietnamese doctors reduce body temperature therapy to save unconscious patient

For the very first time, Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi succeeded in applying technique to reduce temperature of patient who are unconscious and stop breathing to save lives and reduce brain damage.

The technique of reducing patients’ body temperature and cooling the brain has proved to work well in restoring unconscious patients’ awareness and improve patient's movement towards function.

Dr. Nguyen Van Chi, deputy head of the hospital’s Emergency Room, said that 82 year old Nguyen Thi X in the northern province of Yen Bai was taken to the hospital when she stopped breathing and her heart stropped beating.

Soon medical workers provided treatment to the patient. However, just her heartbeat and her blood pressure improved and she was still unconscious due to her brain damaged due to lack of oxygen.

Doctors decided to reduce her body temperature to protect her brain. The therapy can also reduce the risk of severe brain damage, which can occur when blood flow to the brain is disturbed.

The unconscious person has their body temperature reduced from 37C to between 32C and 34C for 12 to 24 hours afterwards. The patient was put in a drug-induced coma in intensive care for 24 hours before gradually being warmed back up to normal temperature. Three days, the patient’s regained consciousness. She could open her mouth following doctors’ requirement.

Dr. Chi said that the therapy will work well to save patients suffering from Cerebrovascular accident or brain damage due to injuries. The therapy was used widely in the world. As per evidence, the therapy to lower unconscious patients’ body temperature  can decrease the fatality rate to 14 percent and the rate of brain damage to 11 percent. Since May, 2015 the Emergency Room has applied the brain cooling therapy to save 10 patients.

By KN – Translated by Uyen Phuong

Other news