In Medical First, Doctors Successfully Place Human Being In Suspended Animation
Doctors have successfully placed a human being in suspended animation for the first time, according to New Scientist.
Samuel Tisherman is on the team of medics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine that successfully placed one patient in suspended animation. The technique is officially called emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR).
EPR is being used on individuals that arrive at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore with acute trauma, such as a gunshot or stab wound, and have gone into cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest means the heart has stopped beating and there has been a severe loss of blood. Typically an individual under these conditions has less than a 5 percent chance of surviving.
The process of performing EPR involves rapidly cooling a person to around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius by replacing all of their blood with ice-cold saline. This process almost causes brain activity to cease. The patient is disconnected from the cooling system and moved to the operating room.
Lowering the temperature of the body and brain slows or stops the chemical reactions in our cells, which causes them to need less oxygen and gives doctors more time to operate.
The trial was approved by the FDA.
“I want to make clear that we’re not trying to send people off to Saturn,” Tisherman said. “We’re trying to buy ourselves more time to save lives.”