Induced Hypothermia Therapy is the deliberate lowering of a patient's body temperature, and it is currently being trialled as a technique for reducing the permanent impact of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as part of "POLAR" ("The prophylactic hypothermia trial to lessen traumatic brain injury"). At the same time, researchers are working to test the therapy's potential side effects through a smaller, but very important, side trial.
One possible concern is that induced hypothermia therapy has been known to hinder coagulation.
This is particularly worrying for patients with TBI, as they have tissue injuries at a high risk of bleeding, and therefore rely on natural coagulation to stem their blood flow.
Although some articles suggest that hypothermia up to 35 degrees is considered safe, there is little evidence to support this statement.
Ground-breaking new research is seeking to fill that evidence gap, led by Professor Jamie Cooper, Director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre and Head of Intensive Care Unit Research at the Alfred Hospital.
Professor Cooper and his team have gathered more evidence around the effects of hypothermia therapy on TBI patients at the Alfred Hospital.
This research is complete, but the results are embargoed until the over-arching POLAR trial is completed. Watch this space for updates.