Out Cold

A Chilling Descent into the Macabre, Controversial, Lifesaving History of Hypothermia

Out Cold
Phil Jaekl
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The word "hypothermia" has Greek origins meaning "under heat. " Its symptoms initially involve shivering, poorly coordinated, laborious movement, and disorientation. At extremes, heart rate decreases significantly while retrograde amnesia and confusion set in. After further decline, victims can begin to make irrational decisions and talk incoherently. For reasons poorly understood, they' ve even been known to take off their clothes and seek confined spaces before death reigns. Yet, hypothermia has another side--it can be therapeutic. In Out Cold, science writer Phil Jaekl tells the history of therapeutic hypothermia, from Ancient Egypt, where cold was used to treat schizophrenia, to Nazi science experiments, science-fiction-inspired preservation attempts, and a whole host of modern-day researchers harnessing cold in surprising ways to save lives. We understand hypothermia now better than ever before, and we have numerous new life-saving cooling techniques at our disposal, yet a macabre stigma still hangs over the field. This book will delve into a dark history from which science is now coming out on top.
"An enthusiastic pop-science account of extreme cold. The author delivers a fascinating yet often ghastly history of early cryonics. . . . A pleasing mixture of oddball and solid science, perfect for fans of Mary Roach and Sam Kean. "--Kirkus Reviews "Out Cold is a fascinating look into the strange and sometimes unbelievable history of hypothermic medicine. Throughout, he weaves together a story that is part history lesson and part science thriller. This is truly a must read for any fan of science and science fiction!"--Douglas Talk, MD/MPH - Chief Medical Consultant SpaceWorks
Philip Jaekl is a cognitive neuroscientist and science writer. Aside from his academic publications he has written on topics related to neuroscience for The Atlantic, The Guardian, and Wired. He' s also written for New York Magazine and has contributed feature-length essays to Aeon. Jaekl now lives in Tromso, Norway.