Q: We have only recently (in the last year) developed our order set and protocol for therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest. In our first 14 patients, we have had trouble getting to our goal temperature very quickly. I think much of this is a learning curve. I've seen that some facilities have a "Code Ice" team that is paged with any cardiac arrest patient to help facilitate the process. I'm thinking of initiating that here. I see from your website that you have a "Resuscitation Team", and I was wondering about that ... is this different from your code blue team? What are their responsibilities?
A: Thanks for the email. Our resuscitation team is different than our hospital code team. We (the resuscitation team) do not respond to codes in the hospital for the purpose of "coding" the patient, but will follow up after every code to assist with hypothermia eligibility if the patients get their pulse back and then if the patient is eligible for cooling we will assist the team in getting the protocol started and will follow the patient throughout their course of hypothermia care. We are available to the treating team 24/7 with any and all hypothermia and post-resuscitation questions. We may be a little different as one of our physicians is actually credentialed to leave notes in the chart as an actual resuscitation consult, although that may not be necessary for what your needs are, which sound like assisting the teams in initiating hypothermia more quickly.
I think that starting that type of service is definitely a good way to get hypothermia started more quickly, and it is always helpful to have a hypothermia champion within any given hospital, but it is also very time intensive depending on how you set it up.
- Marion Leary, RN, BSN