I don't know about the rest of you, but I have grown accustomed over the years to the look of incomprehension, followed by an embarrassing silence and a diverting of eyes, after I answer the question 'what do you do for a living?'
It has been said many times that this industry is one modern life's best kept secrets and that society in general has no understanding of what we actually do as a profession, even though we come in to contact with our industry's products or the results of them throughout our daily lives.
It is as if there is a society blind-spot in which the ACR industry has become obscured from view. Alternatively, people simply do not care and have little interest in what we as an industry do. Either way, I have found that when confronted with an actual person who works within the ACR industry, the average person is lost for words.
So, imagine my surprise when at a function last night, a man stepped forward upon hearing what I do for a living and shook my hand enthusiastically saying "You guys saved my daughter's life".
He later explained that his daughter had been saved from brain damage following a head injury which resulted in neurogenic fever. His daughter had been treated by a process called therapeutic hypothermia.
Quite a fascinating story and an interesting treatment. I learned that as well treating patients that have an abnormally high fever due to traumatic brain injury (as in this case), this medical treatment lowers a person's body temperature in order to reduce the risk of injury to tissues and organs following a period of insufficient blood flow such as in the case of heart attack or stroke. I was fascinated, and a quick search of the internet later, revealed other uses for the treatment such as treating neonatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen before birth).
I understand that the cooling of the patient can be achieved in a number of ways including cooling cathethers, water blankets, and gel conductive pads.
I found an amazing story on the web of a 56 year old man who was 'Dead on Arrival' at a hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. Therapeutic hypothermia played a huge part in his treatment. Amazingly, he was able to return to work fully functional several months later.
I have said before in this blog, that refrigeration plays a major part in people's lives. It seems that it is a life-saver too, in the truest sense of the word.
If any of the readers are involved in supplying these cooling units to hospitals, I would be very interested in hearing from you.