Textile cooling pads may be used in future to prevent neurological damage after successful resuscitation following a heart attack. The system developed by scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim requires no electric power, making it ideal especially for first aid in case of cardiac arrest.
For what can be done when for example a traveller collapses on a bus, train or aeroplane? Every year, 375,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in Europe alone. The heart suddenly starts beating uncontrollably, the pulse becomes irregular. Within a few seconds the patient becomes unconscious and breathing and heartbeat stop. For those affected, every second counts from this point on, because the patient's chances of survival decrease by ten percent with every second that passes until reanimation. Defibrillators have now become mandatory in public buildings and public transport. They use electric shock to restart the heartbeat. For most cardiac arrest patients, however, even successful reanimation is merely a partial success -- only a few patients survive this life-saving measure without consequential neurological damage. This is due to parts of the brain possibly sustaining lasting damage caused by the lack of blood flow and oxygen supply during the period until the ambulance arrives. This often results in the affected becoming invalid.
To avoid this type of brain damage in future, scientists from the faculty of Hygiene, Environment & Medicine at the Hohenstein Institute have developed a new therapy method for first aiders. In the framework of a research project supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg for the competition 'Biotechnology and medical technology', the scientists lead by Prof. Dr. Dirk Höfer developed the prototype of a textile cooling vest. The new type of medical product promises improved acute treatment for cardiac arrest by very quickly cooling down the patient's body.
- Category: Science & Technology