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Open Badges Commentary

Is faster still better in therapeutic hypothermia?

Daniel Howes* and David W Messenger

Author Affiliations

Department of Emergency Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 2V6, Canada

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Critical Care 2011, 15:162  doi:10.1186/cc10234

See related research by Haugk et al., and related commentary by Lyon,

Published: 1 June 2011


The rapid institution of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest has become an accepted practice. In the previous issue of Critical Care, Haugk and colleagues present a retrospective analysis of 13 years of experience with therapeutic hypothermia at their center that suggests an association between rate of cooling and less favorable neurological outcomes. The association most likely reflects easier cooling in patients more severely brain injured by their initial cardiac arrest, and should not lead clinicians to abandon or slow their efforts to achieve post-resuscitative cooling.