WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 28, 2012, 07:12 PM

WDAY's Kelsey Roseth experiences the effects of hypothermia

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Rescuers say this morning's tragic drowning shows how quickly the effects of hypothermia can kick in.

Rescuers say this morning's tragic drowning shows how quickly the effects of hypothermia can kick in. The water was 44 degrees. WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Roseth jumped in freezing water to show us exactly what happens when the body's core temperature drops.

From the ice floating on the surface to the frigid water underneath, this ice bath is between 30-40 degrees. In order to understand just how dangerous hypothermia can be, I wanted to see for myself exactly what cold temperatures can do for your body."

Scott Woken – NDSU Director of Sports Medicine: "You went through the first stages of extreme, intense cold, you can tell, it's even affecting your respiration a little bit and that's the body's first reaction, to breathe, keep breathing faster. Now, you're probably feeling the burning and aching, especially in your fingers and toes. Especially the pain. Burning and aching pain.”

After submerging myself in the ice bath for around 3 minutes I start to lose my motor skills. My fingers feel like absolute rocks, I can't control them at this point in time.

Scott Woken: "If you are so stiff, that your arms and legs can't keep you above, water, and you have trouble breathing, that's when you start to lose it."

You can see I couldn't stop shivering. My body temperature started at a healthy 98.3. In less than 6 minutes it dropped almost 2 degrees. Mild hypothermia sets in when you've lost 3 degrees.

Scott Woken: "Probably don't want to stay in there a whole lot longer."

At this point now that I've been out a few minutes, it's amazing to me all these sensations I can feel between my body shivering and the tingling that I am going through, just as my body fights to warm up my core temperature. It’s a fight that kept my body shivering for nearly 2 hours afterward.

Extreme, deadly hypothermia kicks in when the body loses about 20 degrees of its body temperature.