Doctors 'Freeze' North Carolina Mom Amy Moore to Save Her Life

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Cooling Technique Varies Among Hospitals

As for how doctors achieve this cooling effect, techniques range from relatively low-tech ice packs and cooling blankets, to the use of catheters to cool patients from the inside out.

Whether the newer methods are better is still uncertain -- though Sayre said further study would help answer this and other questions.

"We still have a lot to learn," he said. "Right now it is a 'one size fits all therapy' where everyone gets cooled to the same temperature for the same amount of time."

Additional research, he said, may help identify methods that can be adjusted for care of individual subsets of patients.

Therapeutic Hypothermia a "True Advance" for Cardiac Treatment

But even today, as seen in Moore's case, the technique is viewed as a true advance in treating cardiac arrest patients.

"It's certainly been one of the most gratifying therapy interventions of my career," said Dr. David Palestrant, director of neurocritical care and stroke programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Before we cooled patients, most died, and in those who survived the vast majority -- about 90 percent -- had significant neurologic impairment.

"With our cooling protocol, we now see about 40 to 50 percent of patients returning to normal neurologic function."

A Second Chance

Today for Moore, it is a second chance to be a wife and mother. While she has suffered some memory loss and is not ready for interviews, her doctors and family expect her to make a full recovery.

"A really true miracle," said Dr. Lisa Rose-Jones, a UNC cardiologist who treated Moore. "She is a mother, daughter, wife, a friend. When I think what she went through, it's truly amazing."

ABC's Dan Childs and Bradley Blackburn contributed to this report.

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