For decades, medical recovery stories of individuals who fell into icy waters or were buried under avalanches have left researchers intrigued by the beneficial effects of hypothermia. In some cases, people have survived in a comatose state without oxygen for lengthy periods of time without serious health effects.
Now, animal studies are revealing the potential of therapeutic hypothermia for treating myocardial infarction or brain injury, and researchers are developing elaborate, innovative cooling strategies.
Hampton T. Researchers Warm Up to Hypothermia Use After Cardiac and Brain Trauma. JAMA. 2007;298(17):1994-1995. doi:10.1001/jama.298.17.1994