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Esophageal cooling device helps doctors control body temperature

The device could avoid neurological damage in heart attack patients, as well as complications from other health events.

By Stephen Feller
Esophageal cooling device helps doctors control body temperature
The device is connected to a chiller and inserted through a patient's esophagus into the stomach to allow doctors to control body temperature. Photo by Advanced Cooling Therapy

CHICAGO, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a device that can help warm or cool patients' internal temperatures and minimize complications from health events such as heart attack, stroke and brain injuries, among others.

Researchers at Advanced Cooling Therapy designed the device to help lower heart attack patients' body temperatures, which previous research has shown can prevent neurological damage after the brain has been deprived of oxygen.

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An initial version of the Esophageal Cooling Device was approved by the FDA in June 2015, with a newer version allowed it to be connected to more types of equipment.

The device is connected to a chilling machine at one end, and inserted through a patients' esophagus into the stomach. Chilled liquids are then circulated through the device, allowing for more direct control over body temperature, according to the company's FDA filing.

"It's like having a cold drink continuously in your stomach and esophagus, and that brings their temperature down," Erik Kulstad, chief executive officer of Advanced Cooling Therapy told the Chicago Tribune. "Now essentially any hospital in the U.S. can use our product. It's just a matter of choosing which of the two products fit your chiller."

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