Physio-Control, BeneChill to co-market portable hypothermia system

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Physio-Control, a manufacturer of external defibrillation and monitoring technology, and BeneChill, makers of portable therapeutic cooling systems, have entered into a strategic partnership to launch the RhinoChill IntraNasal cooling system in Europe.

RhinoChill is a noninvasive, portable system for transnasally cooling the head and lowering the body's core temperature immediately following cardiac arrest, stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Initially, the partnership will focus on bringing the RhinoChill system to market in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg during the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, as part of this strategic alliance, the two companies will work jointly to develop other applications for the San Diego-based BeneChill and work toward making the RhinoChill system available in the U.S.

Therapeutic hypothermia is gaining increasing acceptance following cardiac arrest in both the prehospital and hospital environments.

A recently published study had shown that when administered by EMS personnel as soon as they reached a cardiac arrest victim and continued during transport to hospital, the RhinoChill system effectively reduced body temperature by the time the victim arrived at the hospital. Survival without loss of brain function was significantly improved in patients where resuscitation procedures and subsequent cooling were initiated within 10 minutes of cardiac arrest, compared with patients who were not cooled in the prehospital setting.

The updated 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) and European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines for resuscitation and CPR both confirm the importance of therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest. The guidelines advise that the earlier cooling is started during cardiac arrest, the better the outcomes.

The AHA guidelines classify therapeutic hypothermia as a Class I recommendation, advising the treatment/procedure should be performed by clinicians. Both sets of guidelines recommend that cardiac arrest patients are only taken to centers which provide therapeutic cooling. The ERC guidelines refer to transnasal evaporative cooling as a method to induce cooling in the prehospital setting.