We’ve always heard the arctic sun shines for 24 hours… Perhaps they were talking about the Arctic Sun 2000, from Medivance. This cooling unit is designed to bring patients’ temperatures down to 92 F for up to 24 hours, before slowly returning them to baseline.
And now it’s being put to use in rare, devastating heart attacks. A patient in Minnesota was recently the first to receive Artic Sun therapy in his state. The Strib has the story, including a description of the $25,000 device and why it works:
Davis said the effect of the machine is similar to putting ice on an injured ankle. “When you injure a tissue, whether it’s an ankle or a brain, there’s two things that happen,” he said. The injured cells release toxins, and the toxins attack other cells, in a domino effect of destruction.
“What cooling down does is make the cells go to sleep so they’re not active. So they don’t release the (toxins).”
The Arctic Sun machine uses foam pads and tubes to circulate cool water around the body. At the same time, Kempenich was sedated and paralyzed, to keep his body from warming itself through shivering.
Doctors depressed his body temperature for 24 hours before slowly bringing it back to normal over 14 hours.
Experts caution that the therapy isn’t perfect — it won’t help most heart attack victims — but it should reduce brain damage and improve survival rates, said Lurie, the St. Cloud cardiologist.