snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Horrors

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18 October 2013, 08:43 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,626
Icon81 Death by dry ice asphyxiation

Comment: It was a few decades ago. I don't know where. A baptist church was using
its sanctuary as a haunted house. Part of the tour was walking a plank
over the baptismal pool. A man was inside the pool, intending to reach up
and grab the ankles of those who crossed. The pool was filled with dry ice
so that he could be hidden beneath the fog. He died from asphyxiation.

This was pre-internet, and I can't find a reference to it.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18 October 2013, 08:56 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
Join Date: 05 November 2005
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 6,658
Default

I don't know about this particular case, but it's plausible. For example:

Asphyxiation due to dry ice in a walk-in freezer.

Dunford JV, Lucas J, Vent N, Clark RF, Cantrell FL.
J Emerg Med. 2009 May;36(4):353-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2008.02.051. Epub 2008 Sep 23

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Exposure to a high concentration of environmental carbon dioxide (CO2) can result in poisoning through direct toxicity and by displacing atmospheric oxygen (O2). Dry ice undergoes sublimation to a gaseous state at -78.5 degrees C (-109.3 degrees F), which is heavier than air and can accumulate in dependent areas.

CASE REPORT:

We report the case of a 59-year-old man found in cardiac arrest shortly after entering a recently repaired walk-in freezer that contained dry ice. First responders and bystanders did not recognize the proximate hazardous environment but were fortunately uninjured. A careful Emergency Department history coupled with rapid case investigation by the Medical Examiner's Office led to the determination of the cause of death and the elimination of the ongoing hazard.

CONCLUSION:

This case illustrates the lethal consequences of improper storage of dry ice and the need to consider toxic environmental exposure as a cause of sudden cardiac arrest.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18 October 2013, 11:57 PM
DaGuyWitBluGlasses DaGuyWitBluGlasses is offline
 
Join Date: 06 June 2006
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 1,333
Default

I'd like to know more details about the freezer case.

My understanding is that CO2 is not a silent killer, due to it forming carbonic acid as it dissolves in the lungs mucus. Which is why your lungs start to hurt as you hold your breath.

So someone in danger of CO2 asphyxiation should recognize they are in distress. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll realize what's actually happening and take the right action. But it's hard to imagine someone in that distress not getting out of the freezer.

With the pool i'd think as long as it was waist deep or shallower someone in distress would react to get out of the pool. On the other hand if it's deep enough to make walking to the edge more difficult than swimming, i can see how someone would react by staying where they are and just trying to keep their head above water.

Last edited by DaGuyWitBluGlasses; 18 October 2013 at 11:58 PM. Reason: reduce the '2'
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19 October 2013, 03:19 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
Join Date: 24 November 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 4,745
Default

What you are looking for is hypercapnia or carbon dioxide poisoning. Asphyxiation is probably a bad term since there is probably still enough oxygen in the air.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MLK on death snopes Questionable Quotes 1 03 May 2011 05:36 PM
Death by dry ice snopes Science 21 08 May 2009 02:33 AM
Death by ICY Hot snopes Medical 24 27 November 2008 07:36 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.