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Central Health has acquired a highly-specialized piece of equipment that cools the body temperature of a cardiac patient. (CBC)

Central Health has a powerful new weapon in its fight to save heart attack victims.

The Therapeutic Hypothermia Management System, the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, has already been used four times since arriving this past summer in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The highly-specialized piece of equipment cools the body temperature of a cardiac patient. 

Joanne Baird, who works in the ICU and emergency room at the Central Newfoundland Health Center, said hypothermia is one of the best ways to protect the brain and heart during cardiac arrest.

"Because hypothermia is the only intervention that's shown to improve neurological outcomes, post-cardiac arrest, So, we're trying to save the brain, as well as the heart," said Baird. "It's nice to have the machine, because it's a lot easier to use, takes less manpower, and it's safe for the patient." 

Baird said other hospitals in the province currently use ice bags to cool a patient's body temperature.