Neurocritical Care

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 21–28

Emergency Neurological Life Support: Resuscitation Following Cardiac Arrest

  • Jon C. Rittenberger
  • Kees H. Polderman
  • Wade S. Smith
  • Scott D. Weingart
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12028-012-9750-9

Cite this article as:
Rittenberger, J.C., Polderman, K.H., Smith, W.S. et al. Neurocrit Care (2012) 17(Suppl 1): 21. doi:10.1007/s12028-012-9750-9


Cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in North America. Neurocritical care interventions, including therapeutic hypothermia (TH), have significantly improved neurological outcomes in patients successfully resuscitated from cardiac arrest. Therefore, resuscitation following cardiac arrest was chosen as an Emergency Neurological Life Support protocol. Patients remaining comatose following resuscitation from cardiac arrest and who are not bleeding are potential candidates for TH. This protocol will review induction, maintenance, and re-warming phases of TH, along with management of TH side effects. Aggressive shivering suppression is necessary with this treatment to ensure the maintenance of a target temperature. Ancillary testing, including electrocardiography, computed tomography imaging of the brain, continuous electroencephalography, monitoring, and correction of electrolyte, blood gas, and hematocrit changes are also necessary to optimize outcomes.


Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy Therapeutic hypothermia Protocol Cardiac arrest Resuscitation Coma 

Copyright information

© Neurocritical Care Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon C. Rittenberger
    • 1
  • Kees H. Polderman
    • 2
  • Wade S. Smith
    • 3
  • Scott D. Weingart
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Critical Care MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Division of ED Critical CareMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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