Florida Medics Begin Introducing Mild Hypothermia Florida Medics Begin Introducing Mild Hypothermia - JEMS.com TAVARES — Local paramedics have started giving heart-attack patients the big chill to thwart brain damage and save lives. In a relatively new technique that is being used by a growing number of hospitals and emergency responders in the United States, Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services recently began inducing mild hypothermia — or lowering the body temperature to about 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit — in cardiac-arrest patients to reduce the onslaught of brain damage that occurs moments after the heart has suddenly stopped beating. "There is a significant difference in mortality in people [cardiac-arrest patients] who are cooled and those who are not," Dr. Paul Banerjee, medical director for Lake-Sumter EMS, said this week. The cooling technique essentially involves putting people on ice. After suffering a heart attack, the patient is injected by paramedics with a saline solution at about 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Emergency workers also cover the patient's head and arm pits with ice packs before delivering them to hospital. Hospital workers then continue lowering the person's temperature to about 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit — or 33 degrees Celsius — and maintaining it at that level for 24 hours.