When it comes to brain damage, blankets take the place of drugs

Jul 07, 2009

Have you ever covered yourself with a blanket to stave off the shivers? A new study shows that a blanket can also help alleviate shivering in patients who have been cooled to prevent brain damage.

Patients with brain injuries or dangerously high fevers are often cooled to reduce their core body temperature to prevent further damage and aid healing. Unfortunately, cooling induces a natural and familiar response - shivering. This shivering counteracts efforts to keep the patient's temperature low, causes physical stress, and is currently treated with sedatives and other drugs.

Now, a study recommended by Andreas Kramer, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine and leading expert in the field of critical care medicine, demonstrates that simply warming the skin can decrease shivering in many patients, without the need for drugs.

Physicians at Columbia University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital found that the intensity of shivering and physiological stress increased when warming blankets were removed from therapeutically cooled patients. Shivering subsided when the blankets were replaced.

Though warming the skin does not reduce shivering in all patients, Kramer concludes that "its simplicity, low cost, widespread availability, lack of adverse effects, and the potential to avoid sedation ... make it an attractive treatment option."

More information: www.f1000medicine.com/article/… /evaluation/sections

Source: Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

Explore further: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Seals protect brain during icy dives

Oct 10, 2006

Norwegian scientists say they've determined seals cease shivering during long icy dives to conserve oxygen and, therefore, minimize brain damage.

Researchers reveal the science of shivering

Dec 17, 2007

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Neurological Sciences Institute have uncovered the system that tells the body when to perform one of its most basic defenses against the cold: shivering. The scientists ...

Marking anorexia with a brain protein

Jun 23, 2009

Eating disorders are frequently seen as psychological or societal diseases, but do they have an underlying biological cause? A new study shows that the levels of a brain protein differ between healthy and anorexic women.

Allergy season: Cigarettes to the rescue?

May 14, 2009

Everyone knows that smoking can kill you, but did you know that it may help with your allergies? A new study shows that cigarette smoke can prevent allergies by decreasing the reaction of immune cells to allergens.

Recommended for you

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

1 hour ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

1 hour ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Simonsez
not rated yet Jul 07, 2009
So in summary: shivering because you are cold can be cured with a blanket. Meanwhile, shivering because you are cold because a doctor induced body cooling, can also be cured by a blanket.

Science!