New Scientist: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time
November 20, 2019 11:17 AM Subscribe
"Doctors have placed humans in suspended animation for the first time, as part of a trial in the US that aims to make it possible to fix traumatic injuries that would otherwise cause death." [New Scientist]
The technique, officially called emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR), is being carried out on people who arrive at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore with an acute trauma – such as a gunshot or stab wound – and have had a cardiac arrest. Their heart will have stopped beating and they will have lost more than half their blood. There are only minutes to operate, with a less than 5 per cent chance that they would normally survive.
EPR involves rapidly cooling a person to around 10 to 15°C by replacing all of their blood with ice-cold saline. The patient’s brain activity almost completely stops. They are then disconnected from the cooling system and their body – which would otherwise be classified as dead – is moved to the operating theatre.
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