Clinical trial of an air-circulating cooling blanket for fever control in critically ill neurologic patients

Stephan A. Mayer, C. Commichau, N. Scarmeas, M. Presciutti, J. Bates, D. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an air-circulating cooling blanket for reducing body temperature in febrile neuro-ICU patients treated with acetaminophen. Methods: Two-hundred twenty consecutively admitted neuro-ICU patients whose tympanic membrane temperature reached or exceeded 101 °F (38.3 °C) were randomly assigned to receive acetaminophen (650 mg every 4 hours) alone (n = 107) or acetaminophen plus air blanket therapy (n = 113). After 24 hours of treatment, the authors compared the proportion of subjects who attained treatment success (T ≤ 99 °F) or treatment failure (T ≥ 101 °F for 2 consecutive hours) using the X2 test and the time to reach these endpoints using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Main Results: Air blanket therapy resulted in a small increase in the proportion of subjects with treatment success (44% versus 36%, X2 p = 0.19, log rank p = 0.10) and a similar small reduction in the proportion of patients with treatment failure (42% versus 53%, X2 p = 0.11, log-rank p = 0.21), compared with treatment with acetaminophen alone. Approximately one third of patients in both groups remained febrile after randomization and "failed" after the first 2 hours of treatment. Twelve percent of patients assigned to air blanket therapy refused or were unable to tolerate treatment, compared with 2% of patients treated with acetaminophen alone (p = 0.005). Conclusions: Treatment with an air-circulating cooling blanket did not effectively reduce body temperature in febrile neuro-ICU patients treated with acetaminophen. More effective interventions are needed to maintain normothermia in patients at risk for fever-related brain damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes

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