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Open Access Open Badges Research

Mild hypothermia after near drowning in twin toddlers

Ortrud Vargas Hein1*, Andreas Triltsch2, Christoph von Buch3, Wolfgang J Kox1 and Claudia Spies1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Charité, Campus Mitte, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

2 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Benjamin Franklin Medical Center, Free University, Berlin, Germany

3 University Department of Pediatrics, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany

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Critical Care 2004, 8:R353-R357  doi:10.1186/cc2926

Published: 2 September 2004



We report a case of twin toddlers who both suffered near drowning but with different post-trauma treatment and course, and different neurological outcomes.

Methods and results

Two twin toddlers (a boy and girl, aged 2 years and 3 months) suffered hypothermic near drowning with protracted cardiac arrest and aspiration. The girl was treated with mild hypothermia for 72 hours and developed acute respiratory dysfunction syndrome and sepsis. She recovered without neurological deficit. The boy's treatment was conducted under normothermia without further complications. He developed an apallic syndrome.


Although the twin toddlers experienced the same near drowning accident together, the outcomes with respect to neurological status and postinjury complications were completely different. One of the factors that possibly influenced the different postinjury course might have been prolonged mild hypothermia.

children; mild hypothermia; near drowning; twins