Phoenix uses ice immersion to treat heat wave victims in the southwestern United States

Phoenix uses ice immersion to treat heat wave victims in the southwestern United States

Phoenix, Arizona— As the first heat wave of the season begins to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), Firefighters in Phoenix, Arizona — the hottest city in the United States — adopt a new tactic they hope to save more lives in a county where 645 people died from heat stroke last year.

Starting this season, the Phoenix Fire Department will immerse heat stroke victims in ice while traveling to area hospitals. The medical technique, known as cold water immersion, is similar to that used by marathon runners and soldiers and has also recently been adopted by Phoenix hospitals as the default protocol, said fire Capt. John Prato.

Prato demonstrated the method this week before the emergency unit at Valleywise Medical Center in phoenixin which ice cubes were placed in a waterproof blue bag around a medical mannequin representing a patient. The technique, he explained, could drastically lower body temperature in a matter of minutes..

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