We all have heard the news about someone pulled out from freezing water after an unrevivable timeframe. More or less, people survive and make full recoveries, miraculously. Stella Berndtsson, a 7-year-old girl from Sweden, currently holds the record for having survived the coldest body temperature and still surviving. When she fell into the sea on the island of Lyr, Stella was found lifeless and without a heartbeat. Stella’s core body temperature was down to 13.2° C. Stella has now made a full recovery.
Stella is one of those people who have survived even without consuming oxygen for an extended period. Now you must be wondering if hypothermia makes this possible? If we put this in simple words, hypothermia decreases our metabolic rate while reducing a few other destructive processes that go inside your brain when your brain is without the oxygen.
Treatment of medical conditions with hypothermia is not something new. It was recommended in an ancient Egyptian medical text 5000 years ago. This Biblical text was called the Edwin Smith Papyrus. Besides treating the sick and injured, hypothermia’s brain protection has allowed people to survive in some extreme situations.
As we all know, the human body’s average temperature is around 37°C. Hypothermia in the human body begins when the body temperature comes to 35° C. Let us tell you that there are four stages of hypothermia.
At stage 1, the body’s temperature ranges between 32° C – 35° C. At this stage, the human body, tends to shiver, which increases the production of heat in the body. Your body enters stage 2 when the temperature ranges between 28° C – 32° C. At this temperature, your body will stop shivering. This stage makes your brain’s electrical activity abnormal. After this, in the last two steps, your body becomes unconscious, and the heart stops completely. But as discussed above, in some cases, people can completely recover from hypothermia.