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Less than half of victims who develop return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) survive to leave the hospital alive, and the cause of death is anoxic brain injury in most patients with ROSC who die within one month of the cardiac arrest.
(This also holds for many instances of physician-assisted suicide, but some wish to restrict the use of the latter term to forms of assistance which stop short of the physician ‘bringing about the death’ of the patient, for example, those involving mechanical means that have to be activated by the patient.) It is important to emphasize the motive of benefiting the person who is assisted to die because well-being is a key value in relation to the morality of euthanasia.
Targeted temperature management (TTM), previously known as mild therapeutic hypothermia, in selected patients surviving out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest can significantly improve rates of long-term neurologically intact survival and may prove to be one of the most important clinical advancements in the science of resuscitation.
The 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines on TTM can be summarized as follows The goals of treatment include achieving the target temperature as quickly as possible; in most cases, this can be reached within 3-4 hours of initiating cooling.
Three phases of TTM include induction, maintenance, and rewarming.
Rewarming can be begun 24 hours after the time of initiation of cooling, with avoidance of hyperthermia.