February 03, 2017

Standard therapy used in pediatric cardiac ICU challenged by study in NEJM

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UAB researchers looked at body cooling versus normal temperature control in pediatric patients who suffered cardiac arrest in the hospital to find that neither is more beneficial.

child hypothermiaA recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that emergency body cooling does not improve survival or functional outcomes in children who experience in-hospital cardiac arrest any more than normal temperature control.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham with Children’s of Alabama participated in the 37-center trial evaluating body cooling versus active fever prevention in children after the occurrence of cardiac arrest while in-hospital. Compared to normal temperature control, body cooling does not confer benefit with respect to neurologically intact survival or decrease any morbidity or mortality measure. 

“Results were similar to the out-of-hospital arm of this trial,” said Jeffrey Alten, M.D., chief of the UAB Section of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. “This landmark study challenges a therapy that has become the standard of care in many pediatric and cardiac intensive care units.”