One of the most important recent discoveries in resuscitation science is that most major damage to the brain occurs not because of initial ischemia or anoxia, but when oxygen is reintroduced to the brain and other organs. This is referred to as reperfusion injury. Surprisingly, this reintroduction of oxygen causes an accelerated rate of cell death. Unfortunately, there are limited options to combat such secondary injury, and it is very difficult to stop or reverse this process that often leads to debilitating brain injury.
Some studies have been conducted to examine whether certain single interventions (such as cooling therapy) may be effective in protecting patients against reperfusion injuries, with limited success. We are leading an investigation into how combining therapies in novel ways may limit reperfusion damage in the brain during the 24 to 48 hours after a patient’s heart is restarted.
Members of the public who have undergone cardiac arrest or who have family members who have suffered with a cardiac arrest are invited to help with this study by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.