Successful use of mild therapeutic hypothermia as compassionate treatment for severe refractory hypoxemia in COVID-19

Pablo Cruces, Camila Cores, Daniel Casanova, Federico Pizarro, Franco Díaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 is a disease associated with an intense systemic inflammation that could induce severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with life-threatening hypoxia and hypercapnia. We present a case where mild therapeutic hypothermia was associated with improved gas exchange, facing other therapies' unavailability due to the pandemic. Case report: A healthy 38-year-old male admitted for COVID-19 pneumonia developed extreme hypoxia (PaO2/FiO2 ratio 42 mmHg), respiratory acidosis, and hyperthermia, refractory to usual treatment (mechanical ventilation, neuromuscular blockade, and prone position), and advanced therapies were not available. Mild therapeutic hypothermia management (target 33–34 °C) was maintained for five days, with progressive gas exchange improvement, which allowed his recovery over the following weeks. He was discharged home after 68 days without significant ICU associated morbidity. Conclusions: Mild hypothermia is a widely available therapy, that given some specific characteristics of COVID-19, may be explored as adjunctive therapy for life-threatening ARDS, especially during a shortage of other rescue therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-263
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • COVID-19
  • Hypoxemia
  • Mild hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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