Longest dead— & then revived

Frozen people can be thawed 


Frozen lakes and rivers are beautiful. But walking across can lead to very long heart stoppages.         

In November of 2019, Audrey Mash’s heart stopped for more than 6 hours. Ms. Mash had been hiking in the Spanish Pyrenees with her husband when a sudden snowstorm hit. She lost consciousness, had no pulse, and her temperature slipped to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Her body was taken to the hospital where a specialized device was used to heat and oxygenate her blood outside of her body. She revived, and returned to normal.

The usual lifesaving procedure for hypothermia is for the non-frozen person to remove his/her clothes, and press up against the freezing person, preferably inside a sleeping bag or other insulated enclosure. Mash’s husband did not take this step, and, presumably, has never heard the end of it.

A second contender for this record was a 41-year-old Norwegian whose heart stopped for 6 hours and 52 minutes. The intoxicated man (whose name was not released) left a party and fell into a frigid river in late December. No one noticed. Eventually, a passersby saw him struggling and pulled him from the water. Then the good samaritan tried to address the man’s hypothermia by stripping and engaging in skin-to-skin contact. Upon their arrival, EMTs took the man’s rectal temperature. There is no documentation as to whether the intoxicated man thought these measures were a continuation of the party.

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