February 17, 2011 - Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami are crediting a large part of 20-year-old Jorge Valdez’s unusual recovery from what could have been a paralyzing spinal cord injury to the intravascular hypothermia treatment they used on him. The 20-year-old Miami state champion gymnast was practicing double flips for try outs for Cirque du Soleil when he landed on his head and suffered bilateral dislocation of two vertebrae.
The new cooling process was used to reduce the amount of swelling and inflammation on his spinal cord to help prevent further damage. In Jorge’s case, he was cooled for 48 hours after his injury to 33.5 degrees Centigrade (92.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and slowly warmed before surgery. It was the same process that helped former Buffalo Bills Tight End Kevin Everett walk again after he suffered a life-threatening injury in the 2007 season opener.
Also remarkable is the fact that Jorge won’t need rehabilitation, according to his doctors.
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