Targeted temperature management: beneficial or not?

Targeted temperature management (TTM), formerly known as therapeutic hypothermia, has been shown to improve survival and neurological recovery in patients following cardiac arrest. Following successes with its in-hospital implementation, many guidelines now advocate its use in the prehospital domain for all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs). It has been suggested that patients presenting with shockable rhythms who receive early initiation of TTM have better survival rates. TTM can be initiated in the prehospital setting with minimal equipment. This article discusses and explores the potential benefits and pitfalls of targeted temperature management when initiated in the prehospital environment. Particular focus is given to potential treatment strategies that can be used by paramedics to adequately manage OHCA. It is proposed that prehospital TTM is advantageous to all patients in cardiac arrest and can be efficacious in a variety of prehospital environments, with its implementation requiring only minimal equipment.

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