Health workers are in the final stages of a trial of medical heat treatment in Melbourne to help patients who have died from heat stroke.
Key points:Dr Mark Thomas from the University of Melbourne’s School of Medical Sciences is piloting the treatment in the CBDDr Mark Thomason from the Royal Melbourne Hospital is pilotning the treatment at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPH)Health workers have already used heat treatment to treat patients with heat strokeDr Thomas said the trial would help to understand what was causing patients’ heat stroke and how the treatment could be used to help them recover.
“This is the first trial in Melbourne of a new, non-invasive, non–pharmacological treatment for patients who are at high risk of dying from heatstroke, which can be associated with poor outcomes and a low level of follow-up,” Dr Thomas said.
“We’ve had patients die after only a couple of weeks with this treatment.”
Dr Thomas, who is based at the University’s School for Advanced Health Policy, said the treatment would be applied to both patients with heart failure and those who had died of heat stroke from cardiac arrhythmia, which was not uncommon.
“They’ve been using it for over a decade, and they have been using heat treatment for years,” Dr Thomason said.
“They don’t seem to be any different in terms of the outcome.”
The most important thing is the patients get treatment as soon as they can and it’s the same protocol as everyone else.
“Patients who died of cardiac arrhanythmia were also given a heat pulse on their chest, which could be applied once or twice a week for six months.”
So they get treatment that is consistent with what they’re already receiving, which is the same protocols for everyone else,” Dr Tomason said, adding that patients with severe and irreversible heart failure were treated in a different way to those who died from cardiac arrest.”
Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for them to get treatment.
“The treatment, which has a duration of up to six weeks, uses heat pulses that are applied to the patient’s chest to help relieve their heat stroke symptoms.”
It’s a really cool idea, it’s an idea that hasn’t been used in the medical community before,” Dr Thompson said.
Dr Thomas and his colleagues plan to test the treatment on people in the same geographic area who are experiencing heat stroke or have died of a heart failure.”
There’s a lot of really interesting questions about what happens in people who have severe heart failure, and what happens to the rest of the population,” Dr Thorne said.
Health Minister Stephen Mullighan said the pilot study was the first in Australia.”
If this trial works as hoped, we can expect to see more of this on the national scale in the future,” Dr Mullighanyan said.
He said patients would receive a “low-dose” of the heat treatment, with the aim of reducing symptoms and improving their condition.”
What the trials are about is the delivery of a low dose of a treatment that’s a low-dose, that’s effective and safe,” Dr Morrish said.