It has been recently proven that chilling the brain immediately after traumatic brain injury can reduce the long-term damage and even prevent death in patients with brain swelling. Now, STV News reports that Scientists at the University of Edinburgh will attempt to see if inducing hypothermia in TBI patients has a similar or even more positive effect on injured brains.
They will use freezing cold intravaneous drips in head injury patients within ten days of their accident, and the patients will be kept at a body temperature of between 89 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 48 hours. The researchers will then compare the patients’ recoveries after six months compared to patients who had not been induced with hypothermia.
This is not the first time hypothermia has been considered as a possible solution for treating brain injury. In 1997, a study by the University of Pittsburgh found that hypothermia was associated with significant improvement in outcomes for patients with coma scores of 5 to 7 within the first six months, but by one year, they had outcomes similar to other patients.