UA Steele Children’s Research Center Medical Doctor Katri Typpo tells about the use of temperature regulation in infants and children after cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is not common in infants and children, but it does happen occasionally–and it can be devastating when it does.
Combatting the problem requires cutting-edge treatments, and experts at the University of Arizona’s Steele Children’s Research Center are developing the next generation of care. The center is joining a national large-scale study about this topic.
“In the United States, approximately 16,000 children suffer cardiac arrest each year, so it’s not terribly common but the outcomes tend to be pretty bad,” says Dr. Katri Typpo, a pediatric researcher with the center. “That’s why we’re interested in studying it.”
Typpo tells Arizona Illustrated that one of the treatments under consideration is called therapeutic hypothermia, which consists of cooling down the body to approximately 91 degrees Fahrenheit and maintaining it at the lower temperature for 24 to 72 hours. It has been successfully applied to adults, so researchers are looking into its effectiveness in children who have suffered cardiac arrest.
“If you apply a cool temperature, therapeutic hypothermia, then you may either slow or eliminate the reactions that are toxic to your brain after your arrest, and then hopefully have a better neurologic outcome and higher chance for survival,” Typpo says. Tucson’s Steele Children’s Research Center is one of 32 facilities taking part in the ongoing study.