Survey of the use of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest in UK paediatric emergency departments

Barnaby R. Scholefield, Mark D. Lyttle, Kathleen Berry, Heather P. Duncan, Kevin P. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To ascertain current use of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) after paediatric cardiac arrest in UK emergency departments (EDs), and views on participating in a UK randomised controlled trial (RCT) incorporating early induction of TH in ED. Design: Anonymous web-based survey of 77 UK Emergency Medicine (EM) consultants from 28 UK EDs that see children during the period April-June 2010. Results: 62% (48/77) of surveyed consultants responded from 21/28 (75%) EDs. All managed children post cardiac arrest. 90% (43/48) were aware of the literature concerning TH after cardiac arrest in adults. However, 63% (30/48) had never used TH in paediatric practice. All departments had at least one method of inducing TH (surface cooling; air/water blankets; intravenous cold fluid or catheters). Reasons stated for not inducing TH included no equipment available (26%; 11/42), TH not advocated by the local PICU (24%; 10/42) and not enough evidence for its use (24%; 10/42). TH was considered based on advice from the local Paediatric Intensive Care Units (68%; 17/25) or likelihood of recovery after arrest (32%; 8/25). There was strong support for a UK RCT of TH versus normothermia (85%; 40/47). The proposed RCT was felt to be ethical (87%; 40/48) with use of deferred consent acceptable (74%; 34/46). Conclusion: UK EM consultants are aware of TH but infrequently initiate the therapy in children for a number of reasons. Their involvement would enable early induction of TH in EDs after paediatric cardiac arrest during a UK RCT. The authors have demonstrated the availability of suitable equipment and EM consultant support for participation in such a RCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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