Only 5 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest survive. Doctors are testing new "icy" treatments to keep the brain and heart safe from damage during cardiac arrest.
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Melissa Medalie: Sixty-two-year-old Bill Bondar arrived home energized from a jam session with his new band ... that's when the unthinkable happened. Bill Bondar: I was coming back from my car carrying my guitar. Never made it. Melissa Medalie: Monica, remembers the exact spot where her husband hit the ground. Monica Bonder: When I looked in his eyes, I was looking at a dead man. Melissa Medalie: Paramedics restarted Bill's heart -- but he was in a coma. Doctors chilled his body by six degrees to save his brain. Dr. Lance Becker: When you're in that in-between -- and that's where most patients are after cardiac arrest -- I believe that cooling is just vital, particularly to protect brain function. Bill Bondar: The fact that I woke up and I was intact is amazing. Melissa Medalie: Dr. Lanec Becker is working on a new, faster way to cool patients in the critical minutes. It's called an ice slurry. The tiny slivers of ice and saline would be injected into a patient in the ambulance. Dr. Becker says the slurry works faster and gets colder than the saline, blankets or pads doctors use now. Dr. Lance Becker: They transfer far, far, far more cooling capacity than just ice water, so you can think of it as a super dose of ice-cold saline. Melissa Medalie: Researchers in California are also working on an icy solution that's sprayed through the nose to cool the brain during cardiac arrest. They're tools that can bring the nearly dead back ... for a second chance at life. I am Melissa Medalie reporting.
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