This is an excerpt from:
Norwegian Returns to Life After Severe Hypothermia
By Patricia Reaney
LONDON (Reuters) - A Norwegian woman whose body temperature dropped to 56.7
F in a skiing accident was brought back to life after she was thawed,
doctors said Friday.
The unidentified 29-year-old skier, who was clinically dead, is the only
known person to have survived after such severe hypothermia.
``As far as we know it is the lowest body temperature of anybody who has
survived from being dead and cold -- 13.7 degrees (56.7 F). There are no
other reports as low as that,'' Dr Mads Gilbert, of Tromso University
Hospital in Norway, told Reuters.
The previous lowest body temperature that anyone survived was 57.92 F
recorded in a child. Less than a third of adults whose body temperature
drops below 82.40 F recover.
``I would describe the case as a new confirmation that we should never give
up in cases were people are cooled down. They should be warmed up before you
declare them dead,'' Gilbert said.
``She was clinically dead for a couple of hours,'' said Gilbert, one of
dozens of doctors who has treated her since the accident last May.
Writing in the Lancet medical journal, Gilbert and his colleagues described
how the woman fell while skiing down a waterfall gully. She was wedged
between rock and overhanging ice for 40 minutes in a space continually
flooded with icy water.
Although she was not breathing and had no circulation by the time she
reached the hospital, doctors used a cardiopulmonary bypass to remove her
blood, warm it outside the body, and then return it to the body.
Gilbert said the icy water cooled her body to the point where her heart had
stopped. It also cooled her brain enough so it could sustain a long period
without oxygen supply.
``The sequence of cooling in this particular case probably is one of the key
factors for this extremely good result,'' he said.
The woman has no recollection of the accident.
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