Cooling Device Helped Save Man Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest

11:13 PM, Dec 21, 2009   |    comments
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About six weeks ago, Eric Mrozek was watching a U.B. football game on TV at a friend's, off campus apartment at Brockport when he suddenly collapsed.

 His heart had stopped beating.  "I don't really remember much after that."

While in an ambulance, Eric's heart was shocked three different times, but it kept failing. He was taken on Mercy Flighted to ECMC, where his mom and stepdad were waiting.

Earlier this year, ECMC began using a cooling protocol for patients like Eric, who were brought in comatose after cardiac arrest.

Cold saline was pumped into Eric and within five hours, his body temperature was at 91 degrees. "By dropping his body temperature to that range, 91 degree range, we're decreasing his metabolic demands by about 35 percent," said Dr. Dietric Jahle, the head of Emergency Medicine at ECMC.  And that means the brain and heart need less oxygen and so hopefully there's less, or no damage. Plastic filled with cold water kept Eric's body at 91 degrees the whole time. 

Scott Brown: "What did Eric feel like when you touched him?" 

"Very, very cold. Extreme, like ice," said his mom, Donna Fanning.

When doctors felt the time was right, Eric's body was re-warmed and it was found he had suffered no brain or heart damage at all. "This is truly a miracle, this is a gift from God," said Donna. 

Scott Brown: "How are you feeling today?"

Eric Mrozek: "Perfect, normal, 100 percent normal, no pain. I thank my lucky stars everyday, everyday."

Scott Brown: "This Friday is Christmas, what's it going to be like for you guys?" 

"It is going to be the best Christmas ever. To have my son there healthy, it's going to be wonderful," said Donna.

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