This procedure reduces body temperature to 50 degrees by inserting a cannula into the aorta and flushing cold saline into the system. This will slow the blood flow, which will prevent the body from bleeding out. The low temperatures will also slow other biological processes as well.
This is a small trial but very interesting as it has been done on pigs and saved the lives. Interesting to hear the doctor’s comments on this as he says it will save lives with the additional two hours allowed to perform surgical procedures. Experimentation began with pigs back in 2000, so it’s been ongoing for a while.
The procedure even has a website of it’s own with additional information and other projects in the works. BD
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first human trials for a science fiction-worthy medical treatment — suspended animation.
Later this month surgeons at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh will begin using a suspended animation technique to extend the time available to treat traumatic injuries, possibly making up the difference between life and death in emergency situations according to iflscience.com.
While the typical sci-fi rendition of suspended animation usually involves freezing the entire body in a capsule of some sort, the real “emergency preservation and resuscitation” (EPR) procedure involves flushing a body with cold saline, reducing its temperature to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and slowing cellular activity and biological processes — including blood flow — to prevent bleeding out.
This temporary method of suspended animation will give doctors an additional two hours to perform life-saving surgeries for patients with otherwise fatal conditions like those that go into cardiac arrest, which under normal circumstances has a seven percent chance of survival.
“After we did those experiments, the definition of ‘dead’ changed,” Rhee told the New Scientist. “Every day at work I declare people dead. They have no signs of life, no heartbeat, no brain activity. I sign a piece of paper knowing in my heart that they are not actually dead. I could, right then and there, suspend them. But I have to put them in a body bag. It’s frustrating to know there’s a solution.”
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