Out Cold

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

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781541756724

USD: $17.99  /  CAD: $21.99

ON SALE: June 1st 2021

Genre: Nonfiction / Science / History


A neuroscientist and journalist takes us on a fascinating and weird journey though the science behind hypothermia.

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.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


“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
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