Stroke Victims' New Hope: A Deep Chill

Hypothermia prompts 'hibernation' that aids doctors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2011 4:54 PM CST
Doctors say induced hypothermia could help stroke victims recover.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Last year, surgeons eyed induced hypothermia to treat trauma; now, experts think a deep chill could help stroke patients recover, the Daily Mail reports. Doctors throughout 20 European countries think inducing hypothermia could cut stroke victims’ brain damage; they’re now seeking funding for testing. “Hypothermia might improve the outcome for more than 40,000 Europeans every year,” says a Scottish doctor.

With intravenous drips and cooling pads, doctors would lower a patient’s body temperature to 95 degrees. This, experts believe, puts the patient in “artificial hibernation,” slowing the body down and leaving more time for doctors to address burst or blocked vessels. It’s by no means a new idea: one of Napoleon's surgeons found that wounded soldiers left in the snow fared better than those by the fire, the Mail notes.

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