Successful resuscitation from prolonged hypothermic cardiac arrest without extracorporeal life support: a case report.

Kuhnke, Melanie; Albrecht, Roland; Schefold, Joerg C.; Paal, Peter (2019). Successful resuscitation from prolonged hypothermic cardiac arrest without extracorporeal life support: a case report. Journal of medical case reports, 13(1), p. 354. BioMed Central 10.1186/s13256-019-2282-6

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BACKGROUND We report a case of successful prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation (5 hours and 44 minutes) following severe accidental hypothermia with cardiac arrest treated without rewarming on extracorporeal life support. CASE PRESENTATION A 52-year-old Italian mountaineer, was trapped in a crevasse and rescued approximately 7 hours later by a professional rescue team. After extrication, he suffered a witnessed cardiac arrest with ventricular fibrillation. Immediate defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation were started. His core temperature was 26.0 °C. Due to weather conditions, air transport to an extracorporeal life support center was not possible. Thus, he was rewarmed with conventional rewarming methods in a rural hospital. Auto-defibrillation occurred at a core temperature of 29.8 °C after 5 hours and 44 minutes of continued cardiopulmonary resuscitation. With a core temperature of 33.4 °C, he was finally admitted to a level 1 trauma center and extracorporeal life support was no longer required. Seven weeks following the accident, he was discharged home with complete neurological recovery. CONCLUSIONS Successful rewarming from severe hypothermia without extracorporeal life support use as performed in this case suggests that patients with primary hypothermic cardiac arrest have a chance of a favorable neurological outcome even after several hours of cardiac arrest when cardiopulmonary resuscitation and conventional rewarming are performed continuously. This may be especially relevant in remote areas, where extracorporeal life support rewarming is not available.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic of Intensive Care

UniBE Contributor:

Kuhnke, Melanie Ingeborg and Schefold, Jörg Christian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BioMed Central




Mirella Aeberhard

Date Deposited:

05 Dec 2019 12:44

Last Modified:

08 Dec 2019 02:47

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Cardiac arrest Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ECLS Hypothermia Mechanical CPR




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