The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) in Allentown, Pa. is one of six major heart centers in the United States researching how lowering cardiac patients’ core temperatures rapidly can save more lives.
The process, known as induced hypothermia, is believed to help prevent or decrease the neurological damage caused by severe heart attacks known as “cardiac deaths.”
The network began researching and using induced hypothermia to treat stroke patients in 1999. Its heart physicians were among the first in the country in 2005 to begin cooling patients that had suffered “cardiac death.” Before that time, only five percent of these patients survived these attacks. The use of induced hypothermia has increased the survival rate to 50 percent and increased the percentage of patients who regain full function to more than 55 percent.
“Therapeutic hypothermia has become a standard of care, but remains underutilized,” said Nainesh Patel, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist and Co-Director of the network’s STEMI/Hypothermia program. “By further expanding this extensive registry we can determine and demonstrate how to best use the technology to save lives and improve the quality of life for our patients.”
Data from Lehigh Valley Health Network and the five other research locations will be collected and analyzed by the International Cardiac Arrest Network (INTCAR) – a joint venture of the Hypothermia Network, the Neurocritical Care Society, and the European Cardiac Arrest Research Network, and is the world’s largest registry of cardiac arrest survivors treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
Lehigh Valley Hospital has been recognized multiple times among “America’s Best Hospitals” for heart care and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
Dennis Zehner, 484.664.1002, Ext. 112
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