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January 1947


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1947;79(1):77-91. doi:10.1001/archinte.1947.00220070073001

THE EFFECTS of freezing have been described in experimental hypothermia. The purpose of this article is to describe a clinical syndrome, herein to be called "immersion hypothermia," which is the result of immersion in the sea in latitudes where the temperature of the water is below approximately 65 F.

During the year 1944 approximately 150 men who had been immersed in the waters of the North Sea were seen by medical officers1 at the United States Army Air Forces fighter station at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk County, England, all of whom contributed to the study of this problem. In all instances these patients were flying personnel of the United States Army Air Forces or Royal Air Force who had been on operational missions over enemy-occupied territory of the European continent. For a variety of reasons they were forced to abandon their aircraft by ditching1a or by bailing out into