The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington has instituted a new treatment option to cool down patients after cardiac arrest to reduce the risk of brain damage after a heart attack.
The hospital is using a new water circulating system called ThermoSuit that lowers a patient's inner core temperature with the hopes of stemming brain damage resulting from the loss of blood flow and oxygen to the brain after a heart attack.
The hospital says research indicates that once a patient has been resuscitated, lowering the body temperature to about 91 degrees slows down metabolism, reduces inflammation and halts the demise of brain cells.
The ThermoSuit provides a 30- to 40-minute cooling process. Once the therapy is completed, the patient is removed from the suit and prepared to be transported by Lifestar helicopter to Hartford Hospital for additional treatment. The patient's body stays cool for hours after removal of the ThermoSuit and is gradually warmed after 12 to 24 hours.