In the United States, more than 350 000 cardiac arrests occur annually. The survival rate after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest remains low. The majority of patients who have return of spontaneous circulation will die of complications of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Targeted temperature management is the only recommended neuroprotective measure for those who do not regain consciousness after return of spontaneous circulation. Despite current practices, a review of the literature revealed that evidence on the ideal time to achieve target temperature after return of spontaneous circulation remains equivocal. A program evaluation of a targeted temperature management program at an academic center was performed; the focus was on timing components of targeted temperature management. The program evaluation revealed that nurse-driven, evidence-based protocols can lead to optimal patient outcomes in this low-frequency, high-impact therapy.

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