Medical Breakthroughs In Cardiac Care - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/17/05

Medical Breakthroughs In Cardiac Care

  • Cardiac Cooling

Fifty-two-year-old Darrell Griffin should not be alive today. He was pronounced dead, but a simple radiator-like cooling pad made the difference. Darrell suffered a massive heart attack that landed him in a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, one of a handful of emergency rooms around the country where doctors are testing the "Arctic Sun." It's like a human radiator. The device pumps water and cools the body, effectively reducing the risk of brain damage.

"His heart was stopped, our estimates are somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes. Using this device, we were able to bring his body temperature down, kept him cooler for 24 hours and then he had, over the next several days, what we would consider a miraculous recovery," says Dr. Kennon Heard, an ER physician at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Heard says the device is not intended to bring back a life only to preserve the quality of life in those who are riding on the edge. The FDA already has approved the Arctic Sun system for use with high fevers, but these tests on heart patients will take about 18 months to complete.

  • Kids and Diabetes

Nearly 250,000 children and adolescents in the United States have type one diabetes. It means that a healthy life depends on keeping their blood sugars in the right range. Dr. Lori Laffell has figured out a way to make that effort interesting, tap into technology. Her team at Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center is providing PDA's to kids with diabetes under the condition that they at least use them to upload blood sugar readings, insulin doses and carbohydrate intake every day. So far, she says the kids who used the PDA, along with special software, checked their sugars more often and ended up with lower readings

"It would remind me to check my blood sugar more often, which I can forget, and it's more fun," says Nicolle See, a diabetes patient in the study.

"The more children check their blood sugars, the lower their measure of diabetes control, and lower here is better. This is like a golf game," says Dr. Laffel.

A game where a normal life depends on that low score. Because good blood sugar control can save kids from complications like blindness, stroke and kidney disease.

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