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New York City pushes cooling therapy for cardiac arrest

New York Times, December 4, 2008

Starting on Jan. 1, New York City ambulances will take many cardiac arrest patients only to hospitals that use a delicate cooling therapy, even if it means bypassing closer emergency rooms. The move by the city's Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service indicates a shift away from the prevailing view among emergency workers and the public that how fast critically ill patients reach the hospital is more important than which hospital treats them. It also amounts to an endorsement of a labor-intensive, often expensive, and still-developing therapy that smaller community hospitals say they lack the staffing and financial wherewithal to provide.