If you have sudden death, do it while skiing

We recently had a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest and was under CPR for quite some time, but regained spontaneous circulation and was brought in with decent vital signs.  His mental status on arrival was very poor, however.  He ended up getting treated with induced hypothermia, meaning he was chilled down with ice packs, and cold IV fluids.  Despite the general consensus that he would do quite poorly, he ended up making a relatively dramatic recovery.  I can’t say I’ve had much personal experience with this, but the data looks promising, and the American Heart Association is recommending it now.  Would love to hear about more of these cases.  As for me, if I have a cardiac arrest, I hope I’m skiing at the time.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Evans Fan 1 12.18.08 at 10:00 am

make sure you wear you helmet on the bunny hill!

Your ER Doc 12.18.08 at 9:14 pm

Hmm, wonder who this is?

Large Casey 12.19.08 at 9:19 am

Just don’t sit in your car, watching the snow fall. How quickly does carbon monoxide kill an innocent snow gazer?

Your ER Doc 12.19.08 at 11:15 am

If the exhaust pipe gets blocked by snow, and the engine is running, this is a problem. If the interior fills with enough carbon monoxide, a person can lose consciousness in minutes, death can occur shortly after.

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