RhinoChill IntraNasal Cooling

The RhinoChill IntraNasal Cooling System is a device designed to cool the head (and thereby the rest of the body) with a nasal catheter; it is intended to be used post cardiac arrest, stroke or traumatic brain injury.


(RhinoChill diagram)

The RhinoChill System uses a non-invasive nasal catheter that sprays a rapidly evaporating, inert coolant liquid into the nasal cavity, a large area situated beneath the brain that acts as a heat exchanger. As the liquid evaporates, heat is directly removed from the base of the skull and surrounding tissues via conduction and indirectly through the blood via convection.

The system is battery-powered, compact and does not require refrigeration, making it ideal for use in pre-hospital settings. Each coolant bottle holds enough liquid to cool a patient for 30 minutes at nominal flow, and bottles can be easily exchanged to maintain the cooling process.

A recently-published European clinical study4 has shown that when administered by Emergency Medical System (EMS) personnel as soon as they reach a cardiac arrest victim and continued during transport to hospital, the RhinoChill System effectively reduces body temperature by the time the victim reaches the hospital. Survival without loss of brain function was significantly improved in patients where resuscitation procedures and subsequent RhinoChill cooling were initiated within ten minutes of cardiac arrest, compared with patients who were not cooled in the pre-hospital setting.

Exotic head-cooling technologies are a familiar idea to fans of the science fiction series Farscape. Scorpius (played by Wayne Pygram) is a half-Sebacean, half-Scarran Peacekeeper.


(Scorpius with his head together)

His Scarran genetic heritage causes his body, and particularly his brain, to overheat; he compensates with a special suit. Part of the solution is in the form of coolant rods that are buried inside his brain.


(Scorpius with brain coolant rod exposed)

Sometimes, even the best coolant rods inserted into the brain just aren't enough (see Scorpius' brain overheats).

From RhinoChill via MedGadget.

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