A tragic death of a 15 yr old boy.

beeza

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Nov 2, 2006
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A very sad day for my girlfriend's neighbours as they are mourning the loss of their son.

However, I know there some medical people within DR1 who might be able to explain what I feel is a mysterious death.

This 15 year old was a very fit and healthy boy who loved to play ball. His mother worked in the Zona Franca in Santiago on minimum wage. She would spend every spare peso she had on his baseball coaching as he looked to have a natural talent and it was hinted that he may have a future in the sport.

Yesterday he was playing with his friends near a river. The story that my girlfriend was told, was that he was running around so much that his body temperature reached a very high level. He then jumped into the river which was very cold. Apparently this sudden drop in temperature caused his blood to coagulate rapidly and he died two hours later in the HONS hospital.

Is this a plausable cause of death? I have a little medical knowledge (St Johns Ambulance First-Aider) but I have never heard of this.

I know it won't bring him back and it's such a tragic loss of life of a boy that was full of life, and at the peak of physical condition. But if anyone has an explaination to this condtion, I would be grateful. Would First-Aid be of any help?

beeza
 

liam1

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Jun 9, 2004
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i grew up near Plitvicka Jezera and as a kid used to swim in the lakes every summer, and the water was COLD. every few years someone (usually guys working outside on farms in hot weather) would die from jumping in the cold water instead of slowly getting in and adjusting his body temperature to the cold lake water.
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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I am not sure about that but I did want to acknowledge and give my condolences to the family.
I have a 14 year old daughter and I don't know what I would do if something like this happened to her.
This is so sad...my deepest condolences to the family
SHALENA
 

whirleybird

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Feb 27, 2006
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A very sad day for my girlfriend's neighbours as they are mourning the loss of their son.

However, I know there some medical people within DR1 who might be able to explain what I feel is a mysterious death.

This 15 year old was a very fit and healthy boy who loved to play ball. His mother worked in the Zona Franca in Santiago on minimum wage. She would spend every spare peso she had on his baseball coaching as he looked to have a natural talent and it was hinted that he may have a future in the sport.

Yesterday he was playing with his friends near a river. The story that my girlfriend was told, was that he was running around so much that his body temperature reached a very high level. He then jumped into the river which was very cold. Apparently this sudden drop in temperature caused his blood to coagulate rapidly and he died two hours later in the HONS hospital.

Is this a plausable cause of death? I have a little medical knowledge (St Johns Ambulance First-Aider) but I have never heard of this.

I know it won't bring him back and it's such a tragic loss of life of a boy that was full of life, and at the peak of physical condition. But if anyone has an explaination to this condtion, I would be grateful. Would First-Aid be of any help?

beeza

I am so sorry to read of this tragic news - it is always terrible to lose a child and I speak from experience (mine was just 30 years old). I know nothing about the medical side of things but our worker will never go in the river to cool down if he has cooked a bbq or something like that so perhaps there is credence to the thinking. To be honest we thought it was him being paranoid as his elderly grandfather died after jumping in the river after a bbq. I do believe though that just sometimes certain things cannot be avoided - sad but true.
 

megabiteme

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Jan 9, 2008
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A very sad day for my girlfriend's neighbours as they are mourning the loss of their son.

However, I know there some medical people within DR1 who might be able to explain what I feel is a mysterious death.

This 15 year old was a very fit and healthy boy who loved to play ball. His mother worked in the Zona Franca in Santiago on minimum wage. She would spend every spare peso she had on his baseball coaching as he looked to have a natural talent and it was hinted that he may have a future in the sport.

Yesterday he was playing with his friends near a river. The story that my girlfriend was told, was that he was running around so much that his body temperature reached a very high level. He then jumped into the river which was very cold. Apparently this sudden drop in temperature caused his blood to coagulate rapidly and he died two hours later in the HONS hospital.

Is this a plausable cause of death? I have a little medical knowledge (St Johns Ambulance First-Aider) but I have never heard of this.

I know it won't bring him back and it's such a tragic loss of life of a boy that was full of life, and at the peak of physical condition. But if anyone has an explaination to this condtion, I would be grateful. Would First-Aid be of any help?

beeza


Sorry for the loss of any young child! and yes it looks like he went into shock and passed later perhaps to the improper care of knowing how to treat this right away. Have the parents contact a lawyer to see if the proper protocol was followed. sorry to say, I believe that he should have not died if it was 2 hours later.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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My sympathies to family and friends.

An old wive's tale.

I started to hear about the "hot to cold" myth approx. 15 years ago, as my friend's maid refused to open the fridge after ironing.
I thought it was ridiculous then, and I still think it is.
What about those "Arctic Polar Bear" club guys who cut a hole in the ice and jump in?
When I was still in grade school, my buddy and I would get into the pool showers as hot as we could stand, then go jump into the pool, just for fun.
How could the entire population of North America not suffer from this "syndrome", and it be so common in the DR?
Ask any Dominican over the age of 20, and they will tell you that they have heard of or known a person who died that way.
Unless it's a genetic flaw, it simply isn't possible that it only happens to Dominicans and nobody else in the world, and I highly doubt that that is possible.
You can try Googling it, to no avail.
If it doesn't happen elsewhere in the world, then what are the odds that it would be so common here?
Wouldn't it be more likely that it's an old wive's tale?

This myth is accompanied by a few others, one of which being that it is likely to be fatal to a female to shampoo her hair while menstruating.
Dominicans are also great believers of witchcraft and voodoo.
 

chibani

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Oct 29, 2007
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This is typical of hydrocution.
A hydrocution is a stop of cardio-ventilatory functions due to high temperature difference between temperature enter water (prefix " hydro ") and the skin.
Such a shock can provoke a loss of consciousness and thus a drowning.
 

Rocky

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This is typical of hydrocution.
A hydrocution is a stop of cardio-ventilatory functions due to high temperature difference between temperature enter water (prefix " hydro ") and the skin.
Such a shock can provoke a loss of consciousness and thus a drowning.
The OP made it clear that the boy died hours later.
The theory of hydrocution, (thermal shock) is that one could lose consciousness and drown, which is clearly not the case here, as well as it being so extremely rare, that you'd be hard pressed to even find any sample cases.
 

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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Readers might be interested in this information regarding heart attacks

Two resons mentioned in this articles--the heart attack one makes a lot of sense to me-http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/01/exercise-in-cold-part-ii.html-------
 

Mccoolhill

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I am a nurse and not a doctor, but for me this sound like that the boy maybe can have had an undiscovered heart disease, and then warm to cold can have caused the death. It is like every year it is some, often young soccer players, that dies at the field from apperently no reasons.
 

Rocky

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Two resons mentioned in this articles--the heart attack one makes a lot of sense to me-http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/01/exercise-in-cold-part-ii.html-------
That certainly is an interesting article and very educational.
Had the boy drowned, it would have helped to explain why.
I don't know why the boy died and I'm not sure that a medical expert could diagnose the reason/s for his death without examining him.
Who knows what treatment he was given in the 2 hours after swimming, that might have led to his death?
If I had to guess, I would go with some congenital defect of the heart that was exacerbated by the stress of the events.
 

Alyonka

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Jun 3, 2006
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This is very sad. I had something similar happen to me looooooooong time ago when I was a teenager (although I am still alive). Friends and I were running around playing in the summer heat and then jumping into cold lake water to cool off. Well, in the evening I started having a terrible pain in my head and neck and and my parents had to call emergency. I was given shots and survived. I guess the reason was that blood flow to my brain somehow changed or something of that nature. Again, I am very sorry about the boy :disappoin
 

rio2003

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Aug 16, 2006
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Relevant - I hope

Rocky,
My sympathies to the nearest and dearest - a tragic, unexpected death is an awful thing for anyone to have to suffer. I know.
I have no human experience to draw on but I do have a lot of training and actual experience with fit competition horses - I used to do a lot of three day eventing, cross-country competitions etc.
One thing instilled in us was that you can NEVER wash a hot horse down after strenuous activity with cold water, nor give it anything cold to drink. It always had to cool down slightly and then use tepid water. The shock can cause certain things to trigger off in the animal - and if there should be any sort of defect in the organs, usually the heart, it can result in this sort of tragedy occurring.
I suspect,as you do Rocky, that he had a heart defect and the tragedy was brought on by the extreme temperature difference.
Rio
 

cuas

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This was discussed before. I do not believe in superstitions, voodoo and other things Dominicans believe in. This is called PASMO. As a young girl I never believed in pasmo although my father (a baker) told us story about bakers spending the whole night baking and then taking a bath with cold water and getting paralized or death. He also showed us some people that it occured to them.
Well it happened to me. We were living on top of the bakery, the floors were always hot, the whole house were hot. We use to put containers of water on the floor for bathing but sometimes we used just cold water.
It doesnot happen to every body but it happened to me. Some friends came over to study for a test. that day a took a cold bath. We were having dinner and one of my friends started laughing because when a drank water it run out of my mouth. Later I was not feeling a side of my face. My mother not a believer did not do anything. I went to neighbor who knows everything. She told me that is pasmo. She said go get some some money while a take a bath and she rushed me to I think the Moscoso Puello Hospital. There they had a special doctor for this kind of problem. He gave me some shots (including vit. B) and showed me how to exercise my face. I think I had paralysis facial. My face is a little bit twisted (when I take pictures and have to smile my mouth goes to one side like Elvis Presley-not funny)and at sudden change of temperature I feel numbness on my left cheek, my eye and my whole left side, then I popped some Vit-B. I think it is deficiency of vit-B6 or 12.
I still do not believe in other stuff but learned this one the hard way. Wherever I am if the AC is on and I had to leave to a hot weather I hold the door until my body adapt to the outside temperature and viceversa. When the heat is on and it is snowing or very cold I do the same thing. It happens to a very few but it happens, like not everybody will get cancer or diabetes.
 

LatinoRican

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I can fully relate to Cuas' post as something similar happened to me. In my mid-20s, I was living in NYC. One afternoon, in winter, I was going to meet up with some friends. So, I decided to take a shower which I like quite warm.
As I was showering, the telephone in the cold hall rang. I wrapped myself in a towel, rushed out of the shower, and answered the telephone. I then went back into the bathroom to finish my shower. After a few seconds, the left side of my face began to feel strange, but I did not give it much thought. I finished showering, got dressed, and left to meet my friends in mid-town Manhattan. When we did meet and began talking, they told me that something was wrong with my face because the left half did not move at all. Only the right side had any visible signs of expression! In conclusion, I went through a battery of tests and I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. However, I had none of the conditions related to this type of paralysis. After a few weeks, my face slowly regained movement and normality. I have been a fervent believer in 'pasmo' ever since!
 

M.A.R.

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Feb 18, 2006
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Se Pasmo - Dominicans would pronounce 'se pajmo' - which could mean to go into shock.

Yeah it is a Dominican believe that you shouldn't even drink water if you are heated, sweating, very hot, you must cool down a little first and less get into cold water.

many times you would hear
'se bano caliente' bathe while hot
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I would like to offer my condolences to the family, may God Bless and keep them during this difficult time.

With regard to the cause of the death being due to the temperature change, I have to agree with Rocky that this is farce. With due respect to the Dominicans that have posted and honestly belive in this syndrome, all I can say that this phenomenom is not based in fact but hearsay and furthermore seems to be just peculiar to the DR and not the rest of the world.

As a lifelong player of sports since a young child growing up in the deep south and also having received emergency medical training in the Army and as a certified life guard, I can tell that I have never seen such a case as this. On the contrary, the standard medical practice in the Western world for cases of heat stroke is to immediately lower the temperature of the core (head and chest) by using cold water and or ice. Here is an excerpt from a medical manual on the treatment of heat stroke. This is a common practice and is again used the world over:

Immersion in cool or iced water with skin massage is a classic technique for cooling heat stroke patients. Both have demonstrated effectiveness in lowering body temperature. Ice water probably produces the most rapid rate of cooling. However, ice water is an uncomfortable environment in which to work and, in the field, is very difficult to obtain.

http://www.usariem.army.mil/heatill/htstroke.htm

Another point that makes the case even stronger against the "spasm" phenomenom, is the fact that temperatures in the DR rarely rise above 95 degrees and locals will rarely venture outside at midday, whereas in the SE US, we played outside as kids at 3 oclock in 100 degree temperatures with no ill effect. Also, the above referenced treatment is right out of the Army manual and used on soldiers in Iraq, where temperatures commonly exceed 120 degrees!

As far as convincing locals that this phenomenom is myth, in my experience this will prove to be very difficult as it is deeply rooted and even belived by some medical professionals. There is even a "treatment" for people who have to handle the supposedly "extreme" temperature changes (like for example working at a hair sallon, good grief!) where one receives an injection to prevent this from happening. I don't doubt this is true but I'm 150% sure that the injection is anything more than a placebo.

It can't be discounted the effect that beliefs can actually cause physical symptooms, but again this symptoms aren't physiological. What is somewhat disheartening is the almost certain inability to convince the locals here that the "spasm" effect is myth. However, I was able to convince my father in law that it did nothing after living with him for more than six months in Moca. To make my point, many times I would leave at 12 pm for a 3 mile run in the summer and upon returning would poor cold water over my head and chest. In the beginning it was a great show, as some neighbors used to come by to wait for me to see if I would "go crazy" or my mouth would "twist", and I even went along by pretending to have my mouth twist - you should have seen the look on their faces when I started laughing.
 

mkohn

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Jan 1, 2002
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Se Pasmo - Dominicans would pronounce 'se pajmo' - which could mean to go into shock.

Yeah it is a Dominican believe that you shouldn't even drink water if you are heated, sweating, very hot, you must cool down a little first and less get into cold water.

many times you would hear
'se bano caliente' bathe while hot

"se pajmo" I would translate to having had a spasm Dominican pronunciation. "Se espasmo'"

Blessings to this young man and his family.
mkohn
 

beeza

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Nov 2, 2006
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I'm going to have to agree that the poor boy's death will remain a mystery. I doubt that they would have done an autopsy to gleam what really happened. However, it is disturbing to hear that if he died in hospital, his parents were told of the cause of death by medical practitioners.

I'm having a hard time trying to convince my girlfriend that this syndrome doesn't exist. Despite a couple of hours googling, I haven't found anything about blood coagulation and temperature change. My feeling is that it was possibly an undiagnosed heart disorder.

I remember when I was in the military during the Gulf war. I was bitten by a camel spider on my arm. This lead to an infection (celulitis) which tracked to my blood stream and caused the lymph glands in my armpit to malfunction. The lymph gland regulates body temperature and mine started to rise dangerously. My core body temperature was so high, I started to have febrile convulsions. The staff at the medical centre had to lower my temperature by immersing in a bath of ice water! Not a very nice experience, but it didn't cause any long term damage.

It is strange to hear even from educated Dominicans how these superstitions prevail. I have never been to another country with as many hypochondriacs as here. They also follow with blind faith, anyone who wears a white coat and a stethoscope around their neck!

Megabiteme, What use would a lawyer do? This is the DR, not the litigious society that is the scourge of the Western world. It was an unfortunate accident, it was nobody's fault. It won't bring him back.
 

M.A.R.

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Feb 18, 2006
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"se pajmo" I would translate to having had a spasm Dominican pronunciation. "Se espasmo'"

Blessings to this young man and his family.
mkohn

pasmo
s. m. asombro, espanto, admiraci?n, desfallecimiento, desmayo.
adj. asombrado, espantado, pasmado.

there are many words inthe DR that are used to describe something but the word actually means something similar or something totally different.