After a patient has had ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) it is critical that their core body temperature is brought down.
This is to decrease metabolic demand.
To preserve brain function.
When the heart has stopped and then restarted there are a bunch of chemical reactions that occur in the body. Cells have died and are releasing cytokines, and other chemicals that cause brain injury and injury to other organs in the body.
So the patient is mechanically cooled with a catheter that is threaded through a large artery, usually the femoral artery, and they are cooled to 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
And because of the need of slowed metabolic activity, they don't want the patient to shiver. This would increase body temperature.
So the patient is paralyzed and sedated.
They remain that way for at least 24 hours.
And then over the next 12 hours they are slowly rewarmed.
About .5 degrees per hour.
And so that is what is was with my husband.
My best friend.