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When It Comes To Brain Damage, Blankets Take The Place Of Drugs

Date:
July 7, 2009
Source:
Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine
Summary:
Have you ever covered yourself with a blanket to stave off the shivers? A new study shows that a blanket can also help alleviate shivering in patients who have been cooled to prevent brain damage.

Have you ever covered yourself with a blanket to stave off the shivers? A new study shows that a blanket can also help alleviate shivering in patients who have been cooled to prevent brain damage.

Patients with brain injuries or dangerously high fevers are often cooled to reduce their core body temperature to prevent further damage and aid healing. Unfortunately, cooling induces a natural and familiar response - shivering. This shivering counteracts efforts to keep the patient's temperature low, causes physical stress, and is currently treated with sedatives and other drugs.

Now, a study recommended by Andreas Kramer, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine and expert in the field of critical care medicine, demonstrates that simply warming the skin can decrease shivering in many patients, without the need for drugs.

Physicians at Columbia University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital found that the intensity of shivering and physiological stress increased when warming blankets were removed from therapeutically cooled patients. Shivering subsided when the blankets were replaced.

Though warming the skin does not reduce shivering in all patients, Kramer concludes that "its simplicity, low cost, widespread availability, lack of adverse effects, and the potential to avoid sedation ... make it an attractive treatment option."

Andreas Kramer, Faculty Member for F1000 Medicine, is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience at University of Calgary, Canada.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine. "When It Comes To Brain Damage, Blankets Take The Place Of Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707111703.htm>.
Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine. (2009, July 7). When It Comes To Brain Damage, Blankets Take The Place Of Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707111703.htm
Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine. "When It Comes To Brain Damage, Blankets Take The Place Of Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707111703.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

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