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John McKiggan Q.C.
John McKiggan Q.C.
Attorney • (902) 423-2050

Hypothermia May Benefit Brain Injury Victims

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Who would have thought suffering hypothermia could be a good thing? Recent research from the University of Edinburgh has shown it could potentially save lives and prevent brain damage.

What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature drops below the levels required for the bodily to function. As the body temperature drops below these levels, the physiological systems shut down and the heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure decrease. This is not usually a good thing. However, for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, inducing hypothermia can have the effect of reducing damage to the brain.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports on a controlled study in which 155 patients with head injuries were treated. Of the 155 patients, 82 were treated with hypothermia within 6-hours after the injury. The study concluded that treatment with moderate hypothermia for a period of 24 hours, initiated soon after the injury, significantly improved the outcomes in patients with certain injuries.

Doesn't Work in All Cases

While studies have shown that inducing hypothermia may improve the outcomes for patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, it appears that the results depend on the medical condition of the individual patients. A panel chaired by the University of Texas conducted a discussion on this use of hypothermia and determined that:

“…factors such as the degree of body cooling, the duration of hypothermia, and the rate of rewarming need to be determined individually for each patient to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize the risk of complications.”

Why Does it Work?

A simplified version of the theory behind using hypothermia to treat brain injuries is that, by slowing the body’s processes, care providers can slow the progress or extent of the brain injury while attempting to repair the damage done to the brain.

Want More Information About Brain Injury Claims?

Do you want more information on traumatic brain injury claims? Do you know the answers to the following important questions:

  • How does brain injury happen?
  • What is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
  • 8 Myths of Traumatic Brain Injury Claims
  • What is the burden of proof and why is it important?
  • How do I prove that I have suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
  • How do I find a qualified brain injury lawyer?

To get the answers to these questions, and others, you can order my book: Brain Matter: The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims. We will send you a copy at no charge if you contact me through my website.