Independent from Long Beach, California on January 31, 1960 · Page 102
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 102

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 31, 1960
Page 102
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A MEDICAL NEWS REPORT It makes surgery less risky It is helping to save babies It may be used against cancer by ROBERT P. GOLDMAN Boxing gloves worn by patient on cooling blanket at Neurological Center, in New York, prevent him from scratching or otherwise injuring hlmielf. T HE USE OH COLD--cold air, cold water, and ice itself--is one of the hottest news stories in medicine today. For more than five years, use of cold to reduce the patient's temperature, known to doctors as "hypothermia," has heen employed successfully in heart and brain surgery. But today life-saving and pain-preventing cold treatment is branching out. Examples: · In lioston, a multiple sclerosis victim regained temporary use of her right hand, arm, and shoulder. · In Columbus, Ohio, a carbon monoxide victim near death was saved by cold and drug therapy. · In Minneapolis, a patient with a bleeding ulcer stopped bleeding. · In New York, a young woman with severe head injury recovered completely. In all these cases reduction of the patient's normal 98.6 temperature by as little as 1.5 degrees hastened beneficial.results. So striking are cold-therapy benefits that doctors themselves are often surprised. The key to cold therapy, now being applied increasingly in U.S. medical centers, is this: If the patient's temperature is reduced, his metabolism, his "rate of life," slows down, with a corresponding decrease in the rate of blood circulation. In this state, the patient can be helped to weather a crisis, or-corrective surgery often can be performed with a higher degree of safety. As with any form of treatment, cold has risks, but these are being overcome. Furthermore, we are far from the end of the line in our use of cold treatment. From abroad come reports such as the following: · In Sweden, cold has been used to revive newborn babies who cunnot be brought around by conventional methods. · In England, doctors believe that some day they may be able to insert a cold tube into cancerous tissue and · literally freeze it to death--thus saving the patient. Cooling takes a variety of forms. The patient can be dunked, neck deep, in cold water; refrigerated ak . can be blown on him; a cooling blanket can be used; a cooling balloon containing cold water can be inserted into the stomach. The patient also can be cooled in a man-sized refrigerator. In addition, refrigerated blood can be given the patient during surgery. This is a spot check on cold therapy as provided today, and its extremely hopeful results: Multiple sclerosis: A nerve disorder of unknown cause, multiple sclerosis often results in vision defects and muscular weakness and other debilitating symptoms. At Boston's Pratt Clinic-New England Center Hospital, eight patients were treated by chilling. Each derived temporary benefits. In a few cases, lowered body temperature re- · suited in greatly improved vision, restored ability to use hands and arms. These amazing results were obtained by lowering body temperatures only about 1.5-2.5 degrees. The implication is that MS victims might benefit by living in constantly chilled temperatures; their physical capabilities might thus be prolonged. Apparently, cold itself has a beneficial effect on nerves, which helps preserve their "life." Head injuries: At -Columbia University's Neurological Center (New York), more than two dozen patients with severe head trauma have been cooled for periods lasting up to three weeks. Many have been placed on cooling blankets (see photo, above). Report Columbia doctors: "Dramatic results have been achieved" with some of the patients. A few who would have died with older methods of treatment have made "a good recovery." Stomach troubles. At two medical centers, the cooling balloon has been used with similarly hopeful results--especially in cases of stomach bleeding. In a scries of 30 patients it was found that cooling balloon treatment: 1) slows the secretion of gastric juices and the rate of stomach blood flow; thus,"2) it provides valuable time before or after surgery for the patient to build strength and resistance. Poor-risk surgery: At times because of complications, patients arc labeled "poor risks." Yet, surgery is deemed to be absolutely necessary. In a scries of 76 such patients, hypothermia was used. .Reported the doctors: cold helped "stabilize" the patients' vital functions and helped pull them through. The conclusion: cold permitted in these patients "a wider range of safety" during major operations. Childhood surgery: If, on entering the operating room, the child runs a fever, his body may be cooled to normal temperature so the operation can proceed more safely. During the operation itself, die patient may be kept chilled. Essentially, cold has been found to augment anesthesia while providing its metabolic slowdown. For more than two centuries doctors have known that cold can be curative and may, under special circumstances, preserve human life. It was not until the 1940s that intensive research with cold started paying big dividends in terms of heart and brain surgery. Leading the way in research have been such centers as Duke University and the ·Universities of Colorado and Minnesota. · Porode · Jon. 31, I960

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