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The major factors in predicting neurologic dysfunction secondary to cardiac arrest involve the extent of brain insult as a function of time to return of circulation. The use of induced hypothermia has been studied as a way to combat neurologic injury for nearly five decades. This chapter presents a case study of a 37-year-old female with a history of chronic back pain and depression following a witnessed cardiac arrest 1 week after beginning risperidone therapy. The use of therapeutic hypothermia is widely accepted as the standard of care for preserving neurologic function following cardiac arrest. Cooling should be performed in all postcardiac arrest patients regardless of documented dysrhythmia, but supportive data are strongest for patients who are post ventricular fibrillation. Therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to be relatively safe and effective, and should be considered in the treatment of comatose patients following cardiac arrest.
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