Las Vegas, Nev. — MountainView Hospital today honored first responders from AMR and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, as well as MountainView nurses and physicians, for their role in a successful "Code Save" with the use of Therapeutic Hypothermia, or a "Code Chill."
The recognition comes from the care given to a patient, Larry Breaux, 43, who suffered an arrhythmia while shopping for school supplies in August. AMR and Las Vegas Fire crews arrived on the scene, and were able to restart the patient's heart, however, his heart continued to falter.
At the hospital, once the patient had a return of spontaneous circulation, a "Code Chill" was called and the patient's internal body temperature was decreased to 91 degrees Fahrenheit. The process is called Therapeutic Hypothermia (TH) and is a specific type of cooling therapy for a person who has survived a cardiac arrest, which means that their heart stopped beating but was restarted during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced life support medications.
The goal of TH is to protect the brain and other vital organs by cooling the body to 91 degrees Fahrenheit for a short period of time. This cooling period helps decrease swelling of tissues, decreases the release of toxins to the body, and decreases the oxygen demands of the body. Use of TH has shown improved neurological recovery for survivors of cardiac arrest. Its use is endorsed by the American Heart Association.
Cooling pads are placed directly on the patient's legs and chest. These pads are then connected to a cooling machine that is programmed to cool the body over a period of time. A special catheter is placed in the bladder to monitor the patient's temperature continuously.
Once the body temperature reaches 91 degrees Fahrenheit, the machine maintains that temperature for 24 hours.
After 24 hours of being "cool," the machine is then set to "warm" the patient to a normal body temperature. This warming will occur slowly, over 12 hours. Once the patient reaches normal body temperature, the machine will maintain this temperature for another 24 hours, then the therapy is complete and the pads are removed.
While Breaux's initial prognosis was uncertain, the patient had a successful recovery. He was discharged almost two months after being admitted to the hospital.
"In healthcare, it takes an entire team, working together, to help a patient have a successful outcome," said Chris Mowan, MountainView Hospital CEO. "While we honored the core group of caregivers for Larry, it takes an entire team, from ED and ICU nurses, to our physicians and ancillary services and everyone in between. This is an amazing story of our health system at work and of a successful patient recovery."
Breaux's father, Larry Breaux Sr., said at the recognition event that he and his family can never thank the caregivers and first responders enough for saving his son's life.
"Now it is time for us as a family to try to find the words to express our sincere thanks to all of you," Breaux Sr. said. "It is humbling to stand before you, in the presence of all of you whom have the awesome responsibility to answer the distress calls for help from many of us each and every day. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts."
Those honored today included:
- Las Vegas Fire and Rescue
- Michelle Muscari EMD
- Tina DeCola EMD
- Mark Shaffer EMT-P
- Chris McAllister EMT-I
- Edgar Vargas EMT-P
- Curtis Nickell EMT-I
- Alfredo Cruz EMT-I
- MountainView Hospital
- Dr. Andrew Behl
- Donna Taylor RN
- Sara Van Dewater RN
About MountainView Hospital
MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas, one of the fastest growing areas in the Valley. With a dedicated and talented staff of employees and outstanding physicians, MountainView Hospital (MVH) is recognized for high patient satisfaction and for providing quality and compassionate care to our community since 1996. The hospital is a member of the respected Sunrise Health System consisting of Sunrise Hospital, Sunrise Children's Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and several surgery and diagnostic imaging centers offering a complete range of specialized and technologically advanced services.