X-Message-Number: 20177
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 19:12:44 -0700
From: <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #20160 (predeath head conductive cooling?)

> Message #20160
> From: 
> Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 17:45:02 EDT
> Subject: Pre-death cooling
> Hello All:
> I've been reading about procedures and have a
> question.
> Would it make sense to cool the brain of
> someone near death?  That is, when 
> someone was within an hour or so of heart
> stoppage, to place the head in an 
> ice bath, with just the face out.  Thus, on
> heart stoppage, the brain might 
> have 45 minutes or so before damage set in.


Two problems:

1) Social. In practice, there's no way anybody is legally going to let you put
any dying person's head in ice or ice water-- even if it's only part way. Not
that there's any reason to attempt this, since it wouldn't work anyway,
because of:

2) Physics and physiology. Sorry, but the brain has such a good blood supply,
and the skull and scalp are such relatively good insulators in adults, that
there's nothing you can do to the outside of the head with icewater which will
cool the brain to any temperature significantly different than that of the
blood, lungs and heart.  Once the heart stops, it's a different story, but
cooling of the brain from the outside even then is still slower than cooling
it by circulatory advection: CPR combined with some kind of blood cooling via
bypass, or lung lavage, or ice to the whole body, or preferably some
combination of all of these.

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