“It would have been difficult for them to survive if rescue was delayed by three or four days.”
This part of remarks by Bang Jong-hyo, head of the nephrology department at Andong Hospital who is treating two workers who dramatically survived 221 hours in isolation after being stranded inside a zinc mine in Bonghwa County, North Gyeongsang Province. “(If rescue was delayed), they would have faced a dangerous situation where muscles die, and heart muscles halt functioning,” Bang said. “As the two workers mentally supported each other, they were able to regain psychological stability and maintain hope, which helped them survive the ordeal.”
“I think the decisive factor for their survival was some 30 pieces of instant coffee mixtures. Each piece of the Maxim Mocha Gold coffee the workers possessed contains 50 Cal. It also contains 9 grams of carbohydrates, 1.6 grams of fat, and 6 grams of sugar content. The amount is far smaller than the average daily calorie intake required for men and women, but constitutes a minimum nutrition required for human organs to operate.
Experts unanimously said, “It was miraculous survival resulting from a harmonious mixture of air, water, and food. Generally, the medical community believes humans in extreme conditions can only survive for three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food.’
“The most decisive factor was (the place where they were stranded was at) was situated where there was flowing air,” said Lee Jae-ho, professor of emergency medicine at the Ulsan University college of medicine. “Carbon dioxide that was generated from bonfire they set to keep their body temperatures were ventilated well, which helped save their lives.”
“They were also extremely fortunate to have supply of underground water,” said Park Shi-eun, a professor of emergency rescue at Donghang University.
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