Voluntary apnea and hypothermia

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

When your drowning you don’t actually inhale until right before you black out and it’s called “voluntary apnea”. No matter how much your freaked out the instinct of not letting any water in is so strong that you won’t open your mouth until you feel like your heads about to explode. But when you finally let it in then you won’t feel pain anymore, which is if you have been under this condition for too long☠️.

Apnea can occur holding ones breath, be drug induced, mechanically induced or through neurological diseases or traumas. During apnea the respiratory muscles and lungs remain unchanged. After one minute there will be a severe lack of oxygen in the blood, three minutes will lead to brain damage 🧠and more minutes will lead to death.

However under certain conditions such as hypothermia, you will be able to remain in apnea for a longer duration. Untrained humans cannot however remain in apnea for more than 1-2 minute because of the High CO2 accumulated in the blood dropping the PH and soon lead to simulation of the respiratory center of the brain which eventually cannot be overcome voluntarily.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency, where the loss of heat is faster than the production, causing a life threatening low body temperature. Normal body temperature lies by 37C and hypothermia is below 35C. During hypothermia, nervous system, your heart and other organs start malfunctioning 🧠and if left untreated slowly the heart and respiratory system fails and you eventually die.

Causes of this particular state is loss of radiated heat, direct contact to cold and cold wind for a long time as when the thin coat of warm sheet on your skin wears off and symptoms such as shivering, mumbling, slow creating, weak pulse, lack of coordination, low energy, memory loss, loss of consciousness and bright red skin can be observed.

People who develop hypothermia are also vulnerable to other cold related injuries such as freezing of body tissues (frostbite) as well as decay and death of tissue resulting from an interruption of blood flow (gangrene). Stay warm.

#hypothermia #voluntaryapnea


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