Health Professionals at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Ctr.  

Research that makes a difference - (4/4)

Steve Narang  

Every day, we continue our journey to transform Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center as a complex community hospital in downtown Phoenix with excellent teaching programs to a medical center whose “why” is simple … that we believe that “our culture which values and sustains learning, scholarship, and performance improvement leads directly to excellent patient care, innovation, and superior outcomes.”    

Today, I’d like to share the words of our very own Dr. Steve Curry, a nationally recognized expert in toxicology, who is working with several other key leaders on an institute structure that highlights BGSMC’s expertise in Critical Illness and Injury. This institute will tell our story around our highly differentiated programs such as Trauma, Critical Care, Toxicology and Emergency Medicine.

Take a few minutes and learn more about the incredible scholarship currently being created by our very own physicians here at BGSMC. It is this type of research that improves the care of our most complex patients and draws patients from all over the state and southwest to BGSMC. So many similar stories of highly differentiated care at Good Sam … so many Possibilities…
Thank you for your contributions.

Steve Narang, MD, is the chief executive officer at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Neuroprotective hypothermia in the treatment of heat stroke

By Dr. Steve Curry

Heat stroke is defined as coma or a seriously depressed level of consciousness resulting from primary elevation in body temperature to at least 104o F from exposure to heat, sometimes with accompanying exertion (e.g., exercise, working as roofer).  Given our climate, heat stroke is not uncommon in Arizona. The CDC reported over 7,000 deaths from heat stroke between 1999 and 2009 in the U.S., and fatality rates have been reported to range from 10 percent to 70 percent.

Studies have reported that, in general, only about 40 percent of those who are comatose from exertional heat stroke have potential to survive without brain injury. Standard therapy of heat stroke comprises rapid cooling to normal or near-normal body temperature. Physicians with the Department of Medical Toxicology have cared for heat stroke patients with temperatures exceeding 114 degrees.

Neuroprotective hypothermia is a therapy used in the treatment of patients who have suffered cardiac arrest, spinal cord trauma, or other neurological insults in which body temperature is lowered to about 90 to 93 degrees for 24 hours in order to decrease the incidence or severity of brain injury.  While neuroprotective hypothermia is used by some physicians in the treatment of heat stroke, there are no well-designed trials that have determined its effectiveness in this setting. 

Physicians and house staff from the Medical Toxicology Fellowship, the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, and the Emergency Medicine Residency programs at BGSMC, working together under the Institute for Critical Illness and Injury, are preparing a study in which eligible heat stroke patients presenting to BGSMC will be randomized to receive neuroprotective hypothermia or be treated at normal body temperature. Outcomes that will be examined include mortality, length of hospitalization, and neurological functioning at the time of discharge. After the first year, it is hoped that the study will be expanded to other Banner facilities.



Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
1111 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 839-2000
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