Keywords: therapeutic hypothermia, induced hypothermia, cardiac arrest, post arrest care (PubMed Search)
If you're like me, you've been a bit confused about what exactly defines "coma" in the current recommendations for post-arrest hypothermia in "comatose" patients with return of spontaneous circulation. Fortunately, a recent NEJM article has helped clarify this by suggesting that hypothermia should be induced in these post-arrest patients with either:
Naturally, if the patient was comatose before the arrest, don't bother.
Holzer M. Targeted temperature management for comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med 2010;363:1256-1264.