Meredith Grey: Mostly Dead or All Dead?

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As Billy Crystal's eccentric, miracle-working hermit character told us in The Princess Bride, there's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

With Meredith's life hanging in the balance, Grey's Anatomy Insider's Seattle correspondent did some brief research to learn how dead our heroine actually is medically. What we learned, at least from the perspective of non-medical experts, is that the situation is grim, but hopeful. See below.


Meredith Grey: Mostly Dead or All Dead?
When Grey's Anatomy left us hanging last week, Meredith was floating through Puget Sound.

This week, Meredith came out of the water, completely blue from the hypothermia and not breathing.

Also? She might be dead.

So how often do people really come back from the dead?

Well, Meredith Grey was completely under water for quite some time.

During that time, she most likely inhaled some water into her lungs, which can lead to asphyxiation and drowning. But the water Meredith was in was very cold, which actually increases her chances of survival.

According to Wikipedia's article on drowning, extremely cold water slows down the body's metabolism, leading to decreased levels of oxygen and blood flow. This can mean that a person who is submerged in cold water for an extended period of time can sort of come back to life.

On the other hand, such cold water led Meredith to become hypothermic, meaning her core body temperature is dangerously low - somewhere around 81 degrees - just before she went into the light and saw Denny and Dylan.

How often do people survive such a harrowing ordeal?

According to Princeton University studies, human beings who are in severe hypothermia will appear dead, but may actually be in a "metabolic icebox," meaning, they can be revived.

The heart is probably still beating, albeit very slowly, but if enough blood is circulating, it could be enough to keep the person alive until they can be warmed up.

Apparently, there have been cases where people who were hypothermic have been given CPR for up to three and half hours and have still recovered without any long-term damage.

In short, there's still hope for our girl, Meredith

If you can look past the fact that she's the color of a Smurf right now and realize that the supposed best doctors in the country are all gathered around her hospital bed, you'll find a glimmer of hope that she'll pull through.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


she can't died,, couse is her show.. it can be possible......


i really don't think she will die. i mean, she might go in a come or something, but not die.


well,i live in spain,i cant see that episode,please tell me...she live or the three season is in the begin and i cant wait to know.


Something that Sorrygrey'sfan said got me. She said that chances of someone coming out of asytole is slim to none, but it is possible for them to come out if it with brain damage. Well, who has a boyfriend who happens to be the best neurosurgeon in Seattle Grace? Yeah, I think Derrick is going to be seriously tested in this next episode.


Seems to me it was revealed tonight on Lost.
There she was, having awoken from a horrible dream that she was a Doctor, only to find out she's a flight attendant on a downed plan in the middle of nowhere! Or worse, she ended up on the set of Joey, thus she really IS dead!


SorryGrey'sFans, you are totally right. But there is one flaw in your very nicely done research. You said that in real life she is dead. I agree. Only thing is, this ain't real life. She's not dead. Although, if she is, instead of Yang's Anatomy, I prefer Grey's Autopsy.


well tomorrow is the big day and soon we'll all know.
Mer is gonna make it. She kinda has to. If anyones going to die I think it'll be Ellis. BTW in one of the previews for "Some Kind of Miracle" when they show Dereck leaning against a wall crying, he's not wearing his scrubs...did anyone else notice that?...I mean when did he change and why??? can't wait till tomorrow!!


ok, well its a tv show, and shes signed on for a 6 year contract, so shes gonna live.


Maybe a McMiracle will do it.


As a med student, I understand what asystole is. But the show's title is "Some Kind of Miracle" and the fact remains that her core temp is below normal, so she cannot be declared dead. It would take a miracle for her to come back, and because this is TV I imagine that she will not only come back, but with little or no damage to any of her body systems.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.