Ambulances in New York City now make a critical decision if they are transporting a person who is in cardiac arrest. Rather than heading to the nearest hospital which for years has been the decision, the ambulance may head towards a hospital with hypothermic treatment designed the cool the person in cardiac arrest and prevent further brain injury from oxygen starvation even if that hospital is at greater distance. There are specific clinical indicators which come into play during the decision process. But, overall the odds of minimizing neurological damage for the person in cardiac arrest improve considerably if they can be treated with this novel approach in a timely basis. Michael Bloomberg, New York's Mayor, has been in the forefront of getting this program operational and other cities are expected to join New York in offering hypothermic treatment.
Click here to read the story from the New York Times of December 4, 2008