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I use to cross country ski alot, thou always on trails. This is the first time I have ever heard of this. Scary.
 
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You're not dead until you're warm and dead.
Sometimes people are simply dead and cold.

The case of the young lady surviving accidental hypothermia is truly amazing. She must have cooled before cardiac arrest. Those that asphyxiate or experience some other cause of cardiac arrest like trauma before the heart stops do not survive the hypothermia and subsequent resuscitation.

A Canadian physician that specializes in accidental hypothermia did a great interview for a paid emergency medicine pod-cast following publication of his review article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Those medically inclined can find the source material and pod-cast free of charge at Dr. Doug Brown's web site: drdougbrown.ca

Great stuff!
 

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Sometimes people are simply dead and cold.

My point was that is should not be assumed that a cold person is dead until they are warmed up and it can be confimred.

Had the people who performed cpr for 4 hours not also known the mantra, 'you are not dead until you are warm and dead' the girl would not have lived.
 

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When I started reading this the mantra of "you are not dead until you are warm and dead" was exactly what came to mind. Emergency medicine changes as they learn things, which is a really good thing. So maybe 2 people get saved out of 20 that have a situation like this, that's pretty nice odds, compared to 20 our of 20 being left for dead.
 

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Any rookie can recite "you're not dead until you're warm and dead". Veterans, however, may finish by saying "unless you're just cold and dead". Simply, not every cold dead body needs CPR and a trip to the emergency dept. and certainly not to an ECMO/CPB center. The statistics reported are of patients that met ideal criteria to qualify for cardiopulmonary bypass.

Granted, I'd rather have lay people start CPR than mistakenly withhold it. Its not quite so simple as any hypothermic patient deserves CPR for hours of rescue, evacuation and transport. Remember, most of these patients are still in the mountains/wilderness and will require aeromedical evacuation. One of the purposes of the article and other materials on the above linked website is that rescuers should know when to start and more importantly when to NOT start CPR in the SAR environment.

If you are at all inclined to learn more please check out and download the materials on Dr. Brown's website free of charge.
 

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Any rookie can recite "you're not dead until you're warm and dead". Veterans, however, may finish by saying "unless you're just cold and dead". Simply, not every cold dead body needs CPR and a trip to the emergency dept. and certainly not to an ECMO/CPB center. The statistics reported are of patients that met ideal criteria to qualify for cardiopulmonary bypass.

Granted, I'd rather have lay people start CPR than mistakenly withhold it. Its not quite so simple as any hypothermic patient deserves CPR for hours of rescue, evacuation and transport. Remember, most of these patients are still in the mountains/wilderness and will require aeromedical evacuation. One of the purposes of the article and other materials on the above linked website is that rescuers should know when to start and more importantly when to NOT start CPR in the SAR environment.

If you are at all inclined to learn more please check out and download the materials on Dr. Brown's website free of charge.
Of course one should think twice if the person is frozen rock solid or was missing for weeks and found frozen, etc, but in any other situation, all hypothermic people who are not blatantly and without an absolute doubt dead, despite not having vitals that can not be found, should have resuscitation and warming efforts before being pronounced dead. A lay person in the field, and often a trained responder will not have the ability to determine in the field whether someone asphyxiated, had a fatal arrest, or fatal cerebral infarct, or any other number or things that could possibly happen without blatant physical signs. People who have drowned and been rewarmed and live, people have had limbs severed and amputated and froze, rewarmed, and lived, people have suffered any number of seemingly life threatening situations including cardiac arrests and survived specifically because they became hypothermic. It is a first aid mantra for very good reason.

Speaking as a non rookie- and veterans excused if so desired - It is still one of the most important first aid mantras and should be repeated often by rookies and non rookies alike.

Blessed be those who didnt know better and no doubt struggled for four hours despite the odds, circumstances, and lack of vitals. I sure hope if im ever in that situation those around me will do the same. Its an amazing story.
 

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I know circumstances will vary widely, but for the sake of argument, let's say in circumstances such as this girl's, should the rescuers try to warm the body while performing CPR, or would it be better to wait until she's been transported to a medical facility before her body temperature is increased?
 

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I know circumstances will vary widely, but for the sake of argument, let's say in circumstances such as this girl's, should the rescuers try to warm the body while performing CPR, or would it be better to wait until she's been transported to a medical facility before her body temperature is increased?
The hypothermic response is a defense mechanism and preserves blood flow to vital organs.

In this situation: Keep skin covered, dress wounds, resuscitation and transport asap, do not re-warm.
 

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http://www.canada.com/Those+dreaded+tree+wells+survive+them/7817072/story.html
http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/gopro-captures-skiers-lucky-tree-well-escape

I had no idea this even existed as a risk so the first link kinda explains another event and the third explains the process involved from start to finish of how this young lady survived.......

http://globalnews.ca/news/1251968/c...ves-being-trapped-in-tree-well-near-whistler/

Amazing chain of events
I was warned of these back in 2012 by a veteran snowmobiler.
 
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