When someone goes into cardiac arrest, it takes just 4 to 6 minutes before brain damage starts to occur. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of all cardiac victims will die before they reach the hospital, according to the American Heart Association.
But, with the help of CPR, defibrillation, and now an experimental treatment called “body cooling,” cardiac victims have a much better chance of survival.
Fortunately for Jim Stoltz, of Roxbury, N.J., his co-workers resuscitated him when he became unconscious at work on July 1, the DailyRecord.com reported.
However, that was just the beginning of the road to recovery for the 66-year-old.
Soon after, he was brought to Morristown Memorial Hospital, where the staff is trained to use a device called the “Arctic Sun,” according to the report.
By placing multiple adhesive pads that circulate cold saline onto Stoltz’s body, -- putting his body in a moderate hypothermic condition -- doctors were able to cool his core body temperature to about 90 degrees, according to the Daily Record.
“What’s so great about cooling hypothermia is that it suppresses all these harmful chemical reactions in the brain,” Dr. Stephan Mayer, Director of the NICU, New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, told FOXNews.com in December.
“You can imagine when you deprive the brain of oxygen — which is incredibly needy for energy — it triggers a whole cascade of reactions that are like a burn injury to the brain. If you think of it that way… cooling the body makes perfect sense. It just calms it all down.”
Stoltz finally woke up five days after he collapsed – without any recollection of what had happened.
"It doesn't seem real," Stoltz told the newspaper from his hospital room.
"Let me tell you, this man, today, he's back with us today 100 percent, neurologically speaking," his wife, Carol told the DailyRecord.com. "We felt it would be best to give him this so we could protect his brain," she said.
Without the “Arctic Sun,” staff said the hospital couldn't do anything to try to stop the brain from swelling and had to hope for the best.
"It gives us a much better shot," clinical nurse specialist Kristen Degrandpre, told the paper. "Anything we can do to help somebody, we're going to do," she said.
Stoltz was the seventh patient since November to be treated with the “Arctic Sun,” the paper reported.