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Successful Nonextracorporeal Life Support Resuscitation and Rewarming of a Patient with Hypothermia in Cardiac Arrest

Published:September 27, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wem.2022.07.009
      We report full recovery of a patient with hypothermia in cardiac arrest following continuous and prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and conventional, nonextracorporeal life support (non-ECLS) methods. A 57-y-old man presented with unwitnessed cardiac arrest and a core temperature of 23°C (73°F). The presenting cardiac rhythm was ventricular fibrillation. The team administered epinephrine and performed defibrillation and CPR. Because ECLS was unavailable at the facility, the medical team externally and internally rewarmed the patient using heated blankets, forced warmed air, thoracic lavage, and warmed IV fluids. The patient achieved return of spontaneous circulation after 4 h 56 min of continuous CPR and rewarming. The medical team admitted the patient to the intensive care unit. He achieved full neurologic recovery the following day. When ECLS is not available and transfer is not appropriate because of patient instability or hospital location, conventional rewarming methods and continuous, prolonged CPR can lead to successful outcomes in patients with hypothermia in cardiac arrest. This case demonstrates that CPR in patients with hypothermia-associated cardiac arrest can lead to full recovery.

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