Buffalo Bills' Everett May Walk Again
Football Player Kevin Everett May Have Better Prognosis Due to Swift Hypothermia Treatment
WebMD News Archive
Timing, Temperature Count
The speedy timing of Everett's treatment was "totally, totally
important," says Green. He notes that as far has he knows, Everett was the
first person to get hypothermia treatment so quickly for a spinal cord
He points out that Cappuccino had earlier attended a Miami Project lecture
about hypothermia treatment.
It's crucial that the hypothermia technique not drop the patient's
temperature too low.
"If it drops below 92 [degrees Fahrenheit], patients can develop cardiac
arrhythmias or bleeding problems, so you don't want it to get too cold,"
Green says. "That's why it's called modest or moderate hypothermia, rather
than profound hypothermia."
Doctors also gave Everett
hypothermia treatment at the hospital.
Hypothermia Treatment: Too Rare?
Hypothermia treatment is used in some U.S. hospitals to help treat heart
attacks and strokes.
"We just had a patient here at Jackson [Memorial Hospital] a couple days
ago who had a major stroke following a cardiac procedure, and they pulled the
clot out and they gave him hypothermia, and he's walking and talking normally
today," Green says.
But hypothermia treatment isn't routinely used for spinal cord injury, Green
Everett's case may change all that.
"It just makes us think that all the paramedics in America should be
keeping this iced saline in an ambulance," Green says.
"In Australia, all the paramedics carry these iced saline bottles in
their ambulances because they treat all the heart attack victims. ...,"
Green says. "We use it in the ICU in Jackson for newborns who have
brain damage, we use it for heart attack victims at Jackson, we're using it for
spinal injury, brain injury.
"It's a wonderful tool to have. And the beauty of it, for us, is that it
was developed by our basic scientists 20 years ago and ... now it's now used
all over the world."
Spinal Hypothermia Treatment
Hypothermia treatment for injuries such as Everett's is still considered
experimental. Green and colleagues are gathering data on its use.
"But in the meantime, this happened [Everett's treatment], and we're not
going to deny it happened," Green says.