Cheating Death, Sanjay Gupta by hhumpert

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Maybe they all could have been avoided if the FDA had waited for more evidence before agreeing that the drug was safe. Critics like Swain and Somberg say the research on hypothermia is thin and, considering the potential risks, not enough to justify its widespread use. But there are major hurdles to actually doing more studies. In a true catch-22, in 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) rejected a proposed study at Duke that would have tested therapeutic cooling against a noncooling regimen, on the grounds that it wouldn’t be ethical to withhold cooling.

Stick your foot in a bucket of 56-degree water, and in less than a minute, it will start to hurt. If you jump into water that is 56 degrees Fahrenheit, it will suck the breath out of you. Stay in the water for ten minutes, and you’ll be suffering from hypothermia. Bagenholm had been in the water for more than an hour, and she was in the air, in the rescue chopper, for another hour and fourteen minutes. There was only one real glimmer of hope. There’s a saying in medicine that no one is dead until they are warm and dead.

Watching over Barazanji was a nurse, Mary Grace Savage, who had her own story to tell. That spring, her husband, a senior official with the New York Fire Department, suffered a cardiac arrest at his gym in Brooklyn. Two fellow firefighters performed CPR to get his heart going again, but he was still unconscious when he was taken to the local hospital. When Savage found out, she had him transferred to Columbia immediately. She believes that if it had been just another hour or two longer, he might not have made it.

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