Scandinavian clinical practice guidelines for therapeutic hypothermia and post-resuscitation care after cardiac arrest
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CitationActa Anaesthesiol Scand. 2009, 53 (3):280-8
AbstractBACKGROUND AND AIM: Sudden cardiac arrest survivors suffer from ischaemic brain injury that may lead to poor neurological outcome and death. The reperfusion injury that occurs is associated with damaging biochemical reactions, which are suppressed by mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH). In several studies MTH has been proven to be safe, with few complications and improved survival, and is recommended by the International Liaison of Committee on Resuscitation. The aim of this paper is to recommend clinical practice guidelines for MTH treatment after cardiac arrest from the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (SSAI). METHODS: Relevant studies were identified after two consensus meetings of the SSAI Task Force on Therapeutic Hypothermia (SSAITFTH) and via literature search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Medline. Evidence was assessed and consensus opinion was used when high-grade evidence (Grade of Recommendation, GOR) was unavailable. A management strategy was developed as a consensus from the evidence and the protocols in the participating countries. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Although proven beneficial only for patients with initial ventricular fibrillation (GOR A), the SSAITFTH also recommend MTH after restored spontaneous circulation, if active treatment is chosen, in patients with initial pulseless electrical activity and asystole (GOR D). Normal ethical considerations, premorbid status, total anoxia time and general condition should decide whether active treatment is required or not. MTH should be part of a standardized treatment protocol, and initiated as early as possible after indication and treatment have been decided (GOR E). There is insufficient evidence to make definitive recommendations among techniques to induce MTH, and we do not know the optimal target temperature, duration of cooling and rewarming time. New studies are needed to address the question as to how MTH affects, for example, prognostic factors.
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