“Black C.A.S.T.L.E.” Chapter XXIX – Severe

Michael Martin was naked when the medical team found him. The experts called this “paradoxical undressing,” a phenomenon that occurs when formerly constricted blood vessels release warm blood back into the extremities due to muscular exhaustion, causing a “hot flash” sensation. At this point, his mind had become so confused and his nerves so damaged by the cold that the irrational sensation of overheating tricked him into disrobing.

Another bizarre effect common to severe cases of hypothermia, of which Michael Martin was now in the deep and deadly throes, was so-called “terminal burrowing” or “hide and die” syndrome. There were no soft spots in the freezer room tile to dig through, nor surfaces to hide under, but that didn’t keep Michael from pawing his puffy and useless hands at the floor in an attempt to dig for shelter.  

It was immediately apparent that this guy was in bad shape. His bizarre behavior aside, the medics clocked his heart-rate at under 30 beats per minute, putting him at a very serious risk of cardiac arrest. His skin was blue and puffy. Barely able to even understand what was happening to him in this stupor, Michael Martin was carried out of the freezer room on a stretcher under a pile of warm blankets with the hope that he would survive long enough to testify against his criminal cohorts. After that, he’d likely be locked away in a prison of a different sort for a long, long time.

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Image of PPG Place via Derek Jensen(Tysto), Wikimedia Commons
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