March 19, 2008
New technology at The UVa Medical Center may make it easier to treat patients and prevent them from having certain long term problems.
The hospital now has four Cool Gard 3000 machines. They help to quickly drop a patient's temperature to exactly where doctors want it. In many cardiac arrest cases, that quick cooling of the body can help prevent brain damage.
The treatment can be viewed as an "inside-out" method. It goes into a central line in the body and sits on the vein. Balloons are filled with a saline solution that runs through a loop on the catheter, never entering the body.
A sensor lets doctors and nurses know exactly what temperature their patient is.
The machines are easily transportable so they can move with a patient throughout areas of the hospital. A group of doctors and nurses completed training this week on the Cool Gard 3000, and they say it has already been used successfully once at the medical center.