Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Upside of Being Really Cold

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Upside of Being Really Cold

    Heard an account of this incident on NPR yesterday, so looked it up. It's about a young woman in Norway that was back country skiing and fell through a hole in the ice on a creek and was stuck underwater for 80 minutes. Her companions were physicians and knew that even though her heart had stopped and she was not breathing when they finally got her out of the water, she might possibly still have a chance to be resuscitated. After amazingly heroic efforts by her companions and extensive medical teams in a well equipped hospital she finally fully recovered.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_B%C3%A5genholm

    Unless you're willing to ski naked, it seems unlikely this remote possibility would up your chances of surviving avalanche burial, since you would not cool down fast enough, IMO. Seriously though, I found this an extremely interesting account, and it may be good for those of us that spend time where this sort of thing might happen to realize that someone that is very hypothermic and seems dead might possibly be saved, though exceedingly unlikely and requiring heroic efforts and extensive, rapidly available resources.

  • #2
    There is a saying that your are not dead until you are warm and dead. Years ago I was an EMT in Maine and we were taught that no matter how dead someone appeared, if they were cold they might be revived. IIRC, the protocol then was not to try to revive them in the field, because that would just kill them for real (lactic acid produced in the extremities due to anaerobic cell metabolism would hit the heart and cause unreversible cardiac arrest if you started CPR). Instead, we were taught to just get them to a hospital ASAP.

    Comment


    • #3
      I believe that being in water and it being very cold are two critical factors. The both factors contribute significantly to the very rapid heat exchange to the brain necessary to avoid cellular-level nervous damage. I'm not sure you could achieve that in an avy burial, even without a hat.
      It's turns! Of course it's worth the hike!

      Comment


      • #4

        Comment


        • #5
          I do know of one instance where someone was buried in an avy for 30 - 40 minutes, dug out with no pulse or heartbeat, blue and a core temp of less than 90 degrees F. They were flown to a hospital, resuscitated, slowly warmed and fully recovered. SO, it can happen in avy burials, but I sure would not count on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Greg View Post
            I do know of one instance where someone was buried in an avy for 30 - 40 minutes, dug out with no pulse or heartbeat, blue and a core temp of less than 90 degrees F. They were flown to a hospital, resuscitated, slowly warmed and fully recovered. SO, it can happen in avy burials, but I sure would not count on it.
            So there you are. Not a surprise. I'm sure there is a fine line there somewhere and direct observation is generally better than theory based on first principles. I won't be trying it just to see.
            It's turns! Of course it's worth the hike!

            Comment


            • #7
              1. Initiate search.

              2. Extricate victim.

              3. Cook from frozen at low heat.

              Comment


              • #8
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammalian_diving_reflex

                I usually defrost in the uWave and crisp in a hot toaster oven.

                Comment


                • #9
                  this has been observed in whitewater paddling too

                  certainly the exception and not the rule - varying amounts of brain and nerve damage may deter your desire to want come back from this kind of situation

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    it worked for Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X