Can cold air really choke someone to death?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by GaiaGirl95, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    It sounds like a variation of the placebo effect. Your beliefs can greatly affect your perceptions.
     
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  3. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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    Well, my doctor told me cold causes things to expand. So it is causing the organs around my windpipe (cooled) to expand as well, because breathing the cold air cools your airways, which also cools down organs around the airway as well.

    The area where I feel the pressure is where my thymus gland would be.
    I didn't know that cold weather could cause acute fatal swelling of the thymus gland, which is why I went to a doctor and I looked it up further when I came home, and that is when I found that news article.
     
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  5. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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  7. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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  8. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    One we have evidence for, the other we have no evidence for.
     
  9. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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    There is, a news report...also why wouldn't it cause the thymus to swell, if cold air has been proven to expand things filled with water? (human cells are a good candiate)
     
  10. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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    Also, you're Wrong about the autopsy finding no cause of death.

    '' Miss Leblanc was killed because the gland In the lower throat suddenly "ballooned," as one medical authority puts it, and closed the windpipe, strangling the girl as surely ass a rope could have done. The only cause of such a swelling is a sudden, shocking fright. ' The physician who performed the autopsy on Miss Leblanc's body is reported to have found evidence of a "ballooning" glitnd in her neck.
     
  11. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    That's what some doctors believed was true about the thymus in 1926, when medicine was not a strongly scientific field, and doctors prescribed radiation therapy to ruin the immune systems and thus shrink normal-sized thymuses that they were too ignorant to know were even normal-sized. Neither you nor the reporter you quote (from the article I found), did any work to research what the size of the thymus was in question, so we have no evidence it was larger than normal at any time. We have instead an unattributed opinion based at least partially on information we know to be faulty. Because you did no research, we have no data on all other possible causes of stridor or respiratory obstruction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stridor

    Notably, swelling of the thymus due to a "sudden, shocking fright" is mentioned nowhere, you fear-monger. But if you trust that, then there is no reason to fear the cold as your (ridiculous) trust is placed in the 87-year-old claim that "The only cause of such a swelling is a sudden, shocking fright" so calm the **** down.


     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, please!! You are RELYING on reports that are nearly 100 YEARS OLD! For Pete's sake - we've learned a TREMENDOUS amount since then (but evidently YOU have NOT!).
     
  13. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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    Well why don't you step out in weather below -2 F for an hour or so without protecting your airways from the cold, and report back.
     
  14. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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  15. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    You really need to stop posting in the science section this is getting silly. The other morning I was feeding my horses and it was -9 F and nothing in my chest exploded (that I noticed). Course I was only out about 1/2 hour. Guess I was just lucky...

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  16. GaiaGirl95 Banned Banned

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  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Ask any Russian. We don't seem to have reports from their medical profession of this "problem", do we? -10F is not exactly cold for Siberian winters.
     
  18. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    A specious argument from a soi disant expert; a classic example of denialism. Anyone who actually watches American football understands it is not a one hour game. And the players are an insignificant sample compared to the fans, tens of thousands of them in the stands for 3 hours. (50,861 according to Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_NFL_Championship_Game

    And while I have less documentary evidence of this happening (certainly less photographs), the 300 Club is additional evidence that thymuses don't suddenly swell in the cold. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_Club
     
  19. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    Actually with american football they only go inside after 2 quarters (halftime). A full game lasts about 3 hours and the players are on the field for about 3 1/2 hours, with halftime being 15 minutes. That means they are out in the cold for about 1.5 hours and surprise, surprise, they do not suffocate!!! I can't believe we are actually having this goofy discussion.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Do you realize how many millions of people living in the northern US have done exactly that several times over the past couple of weeks, couple years, couple centuries? You are talking about routine winter activities - ice skating, sledding, doing chores, picking up garbage and delivering stuff, walking to work or school or store, shoveling snow - that ordinary people do in that kind of ordinary weather without a second thought outside of "prob'ly should get the longjohns in the wash one of these weeks".

    No deaths from thymus swelling reported. None.

    My experience with stuff connected to me tells me things tend to contract in the cold - blood vessels, hair follicles, skin, kidneys and bladder, ambition, horizon of interest, plans for the day, maybe even a windpipe especially sensitive for some reason - anything with a muscle around it, except maybe appetite. But the thymus has no muscle afaik, it's well insulated, and -2F is not that cold - if you are having problems at that temperature, you might have an actual disorder like chilblains or Reynaud's Disease. That last sometimes can be alleviated temporarily (sit outside in the cold with an ice pack on the back of your neck and each hand in a bucket of warm water for a few minutes - resets your thermostat, the reset lasts for one winter and then next winter you have to do it again).
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I've been in 120mph of -34F wind. No face protection. I didn't die.
     
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe it's a delayed reaction thing.

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  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well that was 12 years ago. Maybe in another few years . . .
     

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