An 18-month-old girl from Utah who was trapped in an overturned car for 14 hours may have survived because of the icy weather, not in spite of it, doctors say.
The toddler was left hanging upside down in her car seat with no food after the devastating crash that killed her mother, suspended over a freezing river as temperatures plunged overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.
Ironically, one expert says, the cold may have helped.
“When you become hypothermic, it slows the body down. Metabolism drops; your oxygen consumption drops; your glucose metabolism in use drops. It actually ends up being neuroprotective,” Dr. Barbara Walsh of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center told CNN.
The girl’s baby fat might also have helped insulate her from the elements, she added. “Children are very resilient, and I think sometimes we don’t realize how much they actually can withstand.”
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