Therapeutic hypothermia: a state-of-the-art emergency medicine perspective

Am J Emerg Med. 2012 Jun;30(5):800-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 May 12.


Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has gained popularity as a brain-protective strategy for victims of sudden cardiac death in whom return of spontaneous circulation has been achieved but coma persists. Trials have also demonstrated some advantageous effects of lowering core body temperature after stroke and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy of the newborn. In a variety of clinical conditions, TH is still being studied (eg, hepatic encephalopathy and traumatic brain injury). This study describes the historical development of TH, its current applications in emergency medicine, and its potential future uses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature
  • Brain Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Emergency Medicine / methods
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Hypothermia, Induced* / methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic