Publication Date



The Texas Heart Journal





Publication Date(s)

August 2015





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version


Published Open-Access



Body temperature, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, electric countershock, emergency medical services, female, hypothermia, induced, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, pregnancy complications, cardiovascular, treatment outcome


Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. Pregnant women are not immune to cardiac arrest, and the treatment of such patients can be difficult. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to the use of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest.

A 20-year-old woman who was 18 weeks pregnant had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Upon her arrival at the emergency department, she was resuscitated and her circulation returned spontaneously, but her score on the Glasgow Coma Scale was 3. After adequate family discussion of the risks and benefits of therapeutic hypothermia, a decision was made to initiate therapeutic hypothermia per established protocol for 24 hours. The patient was successfully cooled and rewarmed. By the time she was discharged, she had experienced complete neurologic recovery, apart from some short-term memory loss. Subsequently, at 40 weeks, she delivered vaginally a 7-lb 3-oz girl whose Apgar scores were 8 and 9, at 1 and 5 minutes respectively.

To our knowledge, this is only the 3rd reported case of a successful outcome following the initiation of therapeutic hypothermia for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a pregnant woman. On the basis of this and previous reports of successful outcomes, we recommend that therapeutic hypothermia be considered an option in the management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the pregnant population. To facilitate a successful outcome, a multidisciplinary approach involving cardiology, emergency medicine, obstetrics, and neurology should be used.



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