LOUISVILLE, Colo., May 25 A day after delivering her fourth child at Anaheim Regional Medical Center in Anaheim, California last December, 34-year-old Brynn Ervin suffered a cardiac arrest, the result of massive blood clots lodged in the main arteries that take blood to her lungs. Desperate to save the life of the young mother, the cardiac arrest team performed 95 minutes of CPR. Then thoracic surgeon John Eugene, MD operated to remove the blood clots. Still, Ms. Ervin lay comatose, her neurologic prognosis extremely poor. The doctors and nurses knew one therapy might save her - therapeutic hypothermia, but Anaheim Regional did not yet own an Arctic SunŪ cooling device.
That's when Anaheim Regional nurses Joan Strydom, April Ponazzo, Alison Legendre and Martha Dispoto jumped into action. They called Mission Hospital and received permission to borrow an Arctic Sun. Ms. Strydom personally drove the 65-mile round trip to pick up the machine and its high-tech cooling pads.
By phone, Mission Hospital therapeutic temperature nurse-experts Mary Kay Bader and Teresa Wavra guided the Anaheim Regional nurses over the next several days as they instituted mild hypothermia followed by slow rewarming to protect Ms. Ervin from brain damage.
Two weeks of seizures followed. But on Christmas day Ms. Ervin uttered her first words.
At the opening session of this year's American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) annual meeting in Washington DC, incoming president Beth Hammer praised the nurses for their actions, which epitomized the association's theme, Act With Intention.
"The depth and level of collaboration these nurses acted with to save a patient in an unusually dire situation is breathtaking," Hammer said.
Then Brynn Ervin and her husband Kyle took the stage, having traveled across the country to reunite with, and say thank you to, the caring nurses who saved their family.
"It brought down the house," said Medivance CEO Robert Kline. "We applaud these heroic healthcare providers who are committed to saving lives. They overcame enormous obstacles, including lack of experience with our device. Medivance is the market leader in therapeutic temperature management in good part because of the relative ease and safety with which clinicians can deploy this new therapy. This story exemplifies how, with a bit of guidance, even first-time users can quickly utilize the non-invasive Arctic Sun and that our product performs well even in the most difficult circumstances."
Cooling a standard of care
Since 2005, when the American Heart Association (AHA) issued recommendations and guidelines for inducing mild hypothermia in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest, adoption of therapeutic cooling has been on the rise. A rapidly growing body of medical literature suggests it may also reduce damage resulting from refractory fevers and other critical illnesses such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.
About Medivance's Arctic Sun
The noninvasive Arctic Sun Temperature Management System precisely monitors and maintains core body temperature in a therapeutic range, between 32 degrees and 38.5 degrees Celsius (approximately 89.6 degrees to 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit) with the potential to minimize damage to the heart and brain. The patented design of the Arctic Sun and ArcticGel(TM) Pads enables the transfer of up to five times more thermal energy than conventional products such as water blankets, wraps or ice packs, resulting in more efficient temperature management. The system's precision also enables the slow rewarming thought to be critical for therapeutic benefit. The Arctic Sun has received 510(k) FDA clearance in the U.S., the European Union's CE Mark, and marketing approval in Japan and other global markets. Medivance develops and manufacturers proprietary Targeted Temperature Management solutions. www.medivance.com