Introduction: Cooling of the body is used to treat hyperthermic individuals with heatstroke or to depress core temperature below normal for neuroprotection. A novel, chemically activated, unpowered cooling device, CAERvest®, was investigated for safety and efficacy.
Methods: Eight healthy male participants (body mass 79.9 ± 1.9 kg and body fat percentage 16.1 ± 3.8%) visited the laboratory (20 °C, 40% relative humidity) on four occasions. Following 30-min rest, physiological and perceptual measures were recorded. Participants were then fitted with the CAERvest® proof of concept (PoC) or prototype 1 (P1), 2 (P2) or 3 (P3) for 60 min. Temperature, cardiovascular and perceptual measures were recorded every 5 min. After cooling, the CAERvest® was removed and the torso checked for cold-related injuries.
Results: Temperature measures significantly (p < 0.05) reduced pre to post in all trials. Larger reductions in core and skin temperatures were observed for PoC (-0.36 ± 0.18 and -1.55 ± 0.97 °C) and P3 (-0.36 ± 0.22 and -2.47 ± 0.82 °C), compared with P1 and P2. No signs of cold-related injury were observed at any stage.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the CAERvest® is an effective device for reducing body temperature in healthy normothermic individuals without presence of cold injury. Further research in healthy and clinical populations is warranted.
Keywords: cooling; heat-related illness; hyperthermia; targeted temperature management; thermoregulation.