“It was early morning last August when I was awoken by what I thought to be indigestion,” Dixon Hucks remembers. The “indigestion” turned out to be a heart attack. Hucks suffered cardiac arrest while at home. Emergency personnel provided initial resuscitation and transported him to the Emergency Department at CVMC. Following rapid stabilization, therapeutic hypothermia (TH) was initiated after which Hucks was transferred to a facility where he received interventional cardiac care to treat his heart attack including a stent and TH was maintained for the recommended forty-eight hours.
“I believe I am here today because of good emergency care and treatment with hypothermia,” said Hucks.
Even though Hucks had never heard of TH before his health crisis, he agrees, his outcome may not have been as favorable if his initial emergency care had not included TH treatment.
Dr. Rebecca Tarte, CVMC Director of Research & Evidence-Based Practice, explains. “Evidence supports the improved neurologic outcomes reported for cardiac arrest patients who have been resuscitated and, subsequently, treated for therapeutic hypothermia.”
The Advanced Life Support Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation & Emergency Cardiovascular Care recommends TH for unconscious adult patients with return of spontaneous circulation following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Given the fact that Hucks’ circumstances met this recommended criteria, the CVMC Emergency Medicine staff initiated evidenced-based care proactively coordinating with Catawba County First Responders to cool IV fluids during Hucks’ ambulance ride.
Although he has no recollection of his brief visit to CVMC, Hucks expresses deep appreciation for the care he received, especially the rapid initiation of hypothermia protocol.
“I’ll forever be grateful for the medical team that provided such wonderful care,” says Hucks.
Hucks is a proud father of a son and daughter, both born at CVMC. His daughter was among the first babies born in the new Patient Pavilion and Birthing Center that opened in 2012. Hucks works for Nascar® preparing field logos. He also enjoys the art of glass blowing.