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Under normal circumstances, doctors call it quits at 20 minutes. But then along came some cases that even at Stunned to find Erika missing at 3 a. At the hospital, doctors managed to rewarm Erika; 24 hours later, she woke up and cried for her mother. At 9, feet, facing temperatures of 15 degrees and winds as strong as 60 miles per hour, they built a snow cave, hoping to wait out the weather. In the morning, two of the students managed to make it back to camp, and a rescue mission was launched, but it was delayed another day by the storm. Eventually, after repeated attempts, the remaining students and teachers were brought down off the mountain and taken to various Portland-area hospitals to receive ECMO.

Most were too far gone to respond to treatment, but two year-olds survived. ECMO was used as early as in the U. More recently, in April , a year-old boy named Yahya Abdi stowed away in the wheel well of a Boeing that flew from San Jose, California, to Maui.

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Aviation and medical experts were in disbelief: how could he survive the air pressure at 38, feet and temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees? According to reports, Abdi remembered blacking out shortly after takeoff, but his heart apparently kept beating very slowly. When the plane landed in Hawaii, five and a half hours later, he emerged from his hiding spot unharmed.

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Understanding how some people cheat death and pinpointing the precise moment when hypothermia sets in are mysterious affairs. Gradually, as you creep toward moderate hypothermia 90 degrees , skin grows pale, lips turn blue, and speech begins to slur. Sink deeper than 82—severe hypothermia—and you lose consciousness. Left in the cold, your body will continue to drop in temperature, and your heart will beat slower and slower until you experience cardiac arrest and die.

Sometimes the jostling caused by pulling a victim out of the ice can trigger cardiac arrest, referred to as rescue collapse. But because a person is in a cold state, and the brain requires less oxygen, CPR can keep a victim alive for hours, compared with minutes in warmer conditions. Walpoth is currently leading the International Hypothermia Database, which is gathering patient case histories from around the world to create guidelines for treating hypothermia victims.

Meanwhile, what doctors are learning from survivors like Newman is providing clues to medical technology that could rescue others assumed dead in the cold—and also potentially save heart-attack, car-accident, and gunshot-wound victims. Elite athletes, for starters, are jumping into cryotherapeutic chambers , human-size vessels filled with liquid-nitrogen-chilled air, hoping to accelerate recovery and improve performance. A frozen wood frog. Jan Storey. But researchers looking for ways to put the chill on complex tissues and organs face the same challenge that plagues the steak in your freezer: ice crystals, or freezer burn.

When that forms, it damages tissues. So far no one has figured out how to overcome this problem. But some scientists think a tiny amphibian, the wood frog, might hold at least part of the answer. With an expansive range stretching from Georgia to north of the Arctic Circle, the wood frog spends weeks, even months, in a state of suspended animation. It can freeze solid in winter, devoid of all vital signs, then quickly thaw in the spring, hopping off to mate. Some of the latest research in hibernating amphibians comes from Fairbanks, Alaska, where a year-old scientist named Don Larson recently kept tabs on wild wood frogs as they overwintered.

Then, over the course of a day or so, the animal regains a pulse and springs back to life. Every ten minutes, a patient in the U. Each day, an average of 79 people receive transplants, but 22 perish waiting for a phone call. The solution would be to preserve organs indefinitely, so they can be held until a suitable match is found.

One of the biggest breakthroughs in the attempt to freeze organs came in , when cryobiologist Greg Fahy and his California-based company 21st Century Medicine, unveiled a technique that came close to conquering the ice-crystal conundrum. He used a chemical cryoprotectant to successfully cool a rabbit kidney to a vitrified, or glass-like, state, then thawed and transplanted the organ into a live rabbit.

His landmark success offered hope that vitrification would revolutionize organ banking. Other scientists are working with the cold technology already at hand. The technique is still used today to treat those conditions, along with spinal injuries and newborn babies showing signs of impaired brain function.

At the UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh, surgeons are experimenting with putting critical patients who have suffered severe gunshot and knife wounds into a state of suspended animation by flushing their arteries with ice-cold saline to supercool the brain and organs. After the repair work is done, the doctors gradually rewarm the patient by restoring natural blood flow.

Though athletes have been icing post-workout for decades, debate continues as to whether it actually boosts recovery. Spa-goers strip down to their underwear and put on athletic socks, terry cloth robes, and wool mittens for a trip inside a tin-can-shaped cryotherapy chamber filled with air that has been nitrogen-cooled to between minus and minus degrees. Adherents claim that this triggers the body to go into survival mode, sending blood from the extremities to the core, where it is enriched with oxygen and other nutrients.

Afterward, as the body rewarms, the enhanced blood is pushed back to the extremities.

The Life and Adventures of Frezzie Frog

The treatments are based on research pioneered by Japanese doctor Toshima Yamauchi, who invented the procedure in the s to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis, noting that the majority of those who went through the process were completely relieved from their symptoms and pain. I tried a session at KryoLife last August. In a robe, gloves, and socks, I waited for my turn to enter the cryotherapy chamber.


Once inside, my head sticking out from the top, a technician told me to toss the robe to him. Immediately, I felt the extreme chill of a fog-like vapor swirling around my body. For the next three minutes, the technician, who closely monitored how I was feeling, talked me through the experience, a welcome distraction from a stinging pain at the back of my knees and elbows. I danced around, waiting for my time to be up. After exiting, clients are encouraged to warm up on a rowing machine or stationary bike for a few minutes.

Instead I felt tired. But some patrons I met were emphatic that the treatment works. The treatment did make headlines recently after an employee at a cryotherapy salon near Las Vegas died.

Frogsicle: This Frog Survives Winter by Freezing Two-Thirds of Its Body -

As she was closing up on the night of October 19, , Chelsea Ake-Salvacion reportedly texted her boyfriend that she planned to hop into a chamber for a quick session. The next morning, a coworker discovered her body frozen inside. In one trial, the runners did cryotherapy afterward, once a day for five days. The runners also tried daily minute sessions of quiet sitting.

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The researchers reported that following cryotherapy, the runners had fewer blood markers of inflammation, suggesting that athletes could gain an edge through quicker recovery times. Other researchers remain skeptical. A recent report from the University of Portsmouth in England, lead by university sport and exercise scientist Joseph Costello, reviewed studies that compared the effects of whole-body cryotherapy on muscle soreness with a placebo or no treatment at all in 64 active adults. The report found no evidence to suggest that the super-chilled air had a positive effect on recovery.

Costello concluded that much more research is needed to understand whether the therapy works. Even more extreme is the controversial process of human cryopreservation, which has been around since the s. Richer South Africans notice them only when they show up in their swimming pools or squashed under the wheels of their cars. Even encyclopedias of frogs tend to focus instead on the exceedingly ugly African clawed frog or the mammoth goliath of Zaire, as big as a small cat.

It doesn't have any of the character or behavior of the giant bullfrog. Only now that it is listed here as a ''near threatened'' species is the bullfrog gaining more attention. A tiny band of enthusiasts is trying to save it from the onslaught of houses and highways that have wiped out much of its habitat in prime breeding areas around Johannesburg and Pretoria.

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A close look shows why the frog fascinates them. It can weigh up to four and a half pounds. It spends most of its life span of 35 to 40 years underground. In the dry season, it burrows under the mud, secreting mucous and shedding layers of skin until it has formed a hard cocoon, leaving an opening only for its nostrils. It can survive up to seven years like that, Mr. Cook said. When enough rain falls to moisten and split the cocoon, the bullfrog surfaces, usually once a year around November, to eat and mate. Suddenly it is transformed from the frog kingdom's version of a couch potato to a kung fu fighter.

The biggest males stake out their mating territory and issue a low-pitched whooping sound to attract the females. The smaller males hang around the periphery, hoping to get lucky. Contested, a big male can turn lethal, tossing its competitor into the air and tearing out huge chunks of skin with his sharp teeth. View all New York Times newsletters.

Once the eggs are fertilized, the biggest males transform again from fierce studs to devoted dads. The females vanish and the males stand guard for several weeks as the eggs hatch and the tadpoles develop.

Midrand Journal; A Loathsome Frog, Perhaps, but Surely Lionhearted

That sets them apart from most frogs. Yetman said. If the water in the shallow pond becomes too warm, or a tadpole gets stranded, Mr. Cook said, the father frog will dig a channel to cooler or deeper water. Clever, it would seem. But that same bullfrog can mount challenges that defy all logic. Cook said one giant bullfrog was videotaped in Botswana in the early 's trying to hold off a lion from a shallow pool.

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The lion allowed the frog to lunge madly for an hour, then got bored and squashed it, Mr. Still, when a giant bullfrog male was put in a tank with a venonous rinkhals snake with 17 baby snakes in a South African park, the bullfrog managed to devour all the youngsters -- and, by some accounts, the mother too.

All that bravery vanishes when a giant bullfrog is kept in captivity. Turned into a pet, as it is sometimes in the United States, it becomes simply another frog, only bigger. That distresses frog-lovers like Ms. Her standards are high, even for an experiment.

When Ms.