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January 15, 2012

Saudi Arabia invests in heat stroke treatment for Hajj pilgrims

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has deployed ZOLL Medical's intravascular temperature management (IVTM) systems to treat pilgrims suffering from heat stroke during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has deployed ZOLL Medical’s intravascular temperature management (IVTM) systems to treat pilgrims suffering from heat stroke during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Desert heat, sun-related hazards, crowding and high daytime temperatures are observed in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj months of October and November can cause heat stroke to pilgrims.

ZOLL IVTM will provide cooling and warming from a catheter inserted into a patient’s vein, the company said. The catheter is connected to the Thermogard XP console, which will induce hypothermia and circulate ice-cold saline solution inside a balloon catheter. After a period of therapeutic hypothermia the system rewarms the patient back to normal body temperature. No fluid is infused into the patient as the saline flows only within the catheter. ZOLL IVTM will offer a variety of catheters with placement options including femoral, subclavian and internal jugular.

Hospital Automation Technology, ZOLL’s distributor in Saudi Arabia, said a trial that showed ZOLL’s temperature management system can reduce fever burden by 64% over surface cooling was influential in the purchase decision. The firm’s CEO Abdulrahman Alduailij said, "ZOLL’s intravascular approach gave our healthcare providers the power and control they needed to rapidly, safely and effectively manage the core body temperature. This technology offers superior clinical efficiency over other methods, such as surface cooling pads, in reaching and maintaining target temperature."

ZOLL CEO Richard Packer said the process of cooling the body could limit potential damage to the brain, tissue and other organs, resulting in lives being saved that might otherwise be lost.

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