For Hometown News
Bill Jennings complained of chest pain before collapsing on the sidewalk on the corner of Rich Avenue and Woodland Boulevard in downtown DeLand on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Mr. Jennings, the owner of Bill & Frank's Brickhouse Grill in DeLand, wasn't actually having a heart attack, but instead was simulating one, as part of a community drill for Florida Hospital DeLand.
The drill was one step in the process for Florida Hospital DeLand to provide a new kind of therapy for patients who have suffered from a cardiac arrest, often a result of a heart attack. Nicknamed "code cool" at the hospital, the new therapy is Therapeutic-Induced Hypothermia, an American Heart Association guideline for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care.
The treatment protects the brain and other organs during a cardiac arrest by lowering the body's temperature, which then reduces the body's oxygen requirements, decreases swelling and limits the release of damaging toxins that can cause cells to die.
It has been studied since the 1900s and known to be beneficial since the 1950s. During Therapeutic-Induced Hypothermia, a patient's body temperature is cooled to 32-34 degrees Celsius (89.6-93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours using external cooling wraps or cooled intravenous fluids.
During the course of induced hypothermia, patients are closely monitored, intubated, ventilated and sedated. After 24 hours of induced hypothermia, the patient's body temperature is slowly returned to normal.
Luckily for Mr. Jennings, his heart attack wasn't real, but he said by participating in the drill, he's gotten keen insight into how the emergency responders and Florida Hospital DeLand personnel work together to care for local residents.