I Know That I Know Nothing, Socrates

Therapeutic hypothermia – Here we go again. Another quite invasive therapy we offered to patients in the last couple of years might actually not help as we thought it would. This seems to become another deja-vu and might just show the saying which is so true for intensive care: ‘Less is more’.

Just last month the New England Journal of Medicine published this international multi-center trial where 950 patient initially were enrolled to receive hypothermic treatment at 33°C or 36°C. 939 patients finally where followed up for neurologic function (CPC scale and Rankin scale) and death. And guess what… There is no difference what so ever!

The evidence of this study implicates that therapeutic hypothermia might not be of any benefit. So what do we do now? Is this the end of the hypothermic era?

Nielsen N, et al. New Engl J Med. 2013 Dec;369(23):2197-206

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