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Med Hypotheses. 2012 Apr;78(4):516-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.01.022. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Extreme preconditioning: cold adaptation through sea swimming as a means to improving surgical outcomes.

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Brighton Anaesthetic Research Forum, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Rd., Brighton, East Sussex BN2 5BE, United Kingdom.


The practice of sea bathing for its health benefits was popularised by Richard Russell in Regency Brighton during the 18th Century. Although the cures he claimed it could effect seem a little far-fetched today, as with many historical remedies, there is much to be gained from revisiting such theories in the light of modern medical research. In this paper I will draw parallels between the surgical stress response and the response to cold exposure and hypothesise how a programme of sea bathing may be used to enhance postoperative recovery and reduce preoperative complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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