Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - Broward General Medical Center Upgrades Intensive Care Unit with Life-Saving Technology


Ft. Lauderdale, FL, – Going into cardiac arrest while on vacation is not something anyone is prepared for.  But, when it happened to Indianapolis tourist Norman Jones, 69 years old, at a South Florida restaurant he was fortunate enough to receive life-saving CPR performed by a bystander. Upon arrival at Broward General, Jones was even more fortunate when he became the first patient at the medical center to be treated with a state-of-the-art device that lowers the body temperature to prevent neurological damage.

The device, CoolGard 3000, is an intravascular cooling system that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for decreasing the body temperature subsequent to stroke and intra-cerebral hemorrhage since 2003, as well as before and after cardiac- and neuro- surgeries. Since that time, over 10,000 patients throughout the country have been treated with this innovative technology.

Induced hypothermia has proven to be safe and effective. In 2005, the American Heart Association recommended that physicians implement it in patients who suffer cardiac arrest. Other clinical applications where CoolGard 3000 has been used include fever control, intracranial pressure management, acute liver failure and heat stroke.

“Research has consistently shown that therapeutic hypothermia can lessen or prevent neurological damage due to cardiac arrest and subsequent oxygen loss to the brain,” said Violeta McCormack, M.D., medical director, cardiac catheterization laboratories and interventional cardiology at Broward General Medical Center . “The intravascular approach allows us to regulate body temperature to a degree of precision we’ve never seen before.”

The CoolGard 3000 induces a state of mild hypothermia using an inside-out approach. A catheter (a long, thin, soft tube with small balloons surrounding it) is inserted through a vein at the top of the patient’s leg and up to its resting place just below the heart. The catheter is then connected to the CoolGard 3000 system, which sends ice-cold saline solution inside the balloons. In effect, the patient’s blood is cooled as it passes by the balloons, which leads to overall cooling of the body. Since the saline flows inside the catheter and is re-circulated into the CoolGard 3000, no fluid is infused into the patient and no blood leaves the body. After a period of therapeutic hypothermia, typically 12-24 hours, the system slowly and gently re-warms the patient back to normal body temperature.

“I’m glad I was where I was when this happened and that I could be treated with this new technology,” Jones said. “I feel like it saved my life.” Jones spent more than five weeks at Broward General Medical Center before returning home and beginning cardiac rehabilitation. “The care I received while in the hospital was excellent in every respect,” Jones said. “And now, I’m feeling super. Everything is in my favor, and I am just really happy with the outcome.”

The CoolGard 3000 Temperature Management System is manufactured and marketed by Zoll Medical Corporation.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world-class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit