Suspending Life Could Save Dying Victims

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Suspending Life Could Save Dying Victims Empty Suspending Life Could Save Dying Victims

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:45 pm

Gunshot and knife-wound victims don’t have much time before their injuries turn fatal. How fast victims get to the ER typically means the difference between life and death. A groundbreaking technique being developed at Pittsburgh’s UPMC Presbyterian Hospital could buy doctors enough time to treat injuries before they turn lethal.


The method involves cooling down patients by replacing their blood with a cold saline solution, which drops their temperature and stops almost all cellular activity.

“We are suspending life, but we don’t like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction,” Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at the hospital who is leading the trial, told New Scientist. “So we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.”

To replace a patient’s blood and drop his temperature to 50 degrees Fahrenheit takes about 15 minutes. By then, the patient is clinically dead — no breathing, no brain activity. Yet, at such low temperatures, cells can still survive for hours.

The idea is that, in this state, patients will be unplugged from the medical machinery and taken to an operating room where surgeons have up to two hours to make necessary repairs. Once finished, the saline is replaced with blood, which slowly warms the body. If the heart doesn't start beating on its own, it can be resuscitated.

Doctors are now on call to perform the procedure at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and plan to do so later this month. Getting the go-ahead to perform such a technique hasn’t been easy, since it involves medical emergencies when neither the patient nor their family can give consent. But since the method involves people whose injuries are likely to be fatal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light. However, those who want to opt out of such a procedure can do so online.


http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/suspending-life-could-save-dying-victims-140327.htm

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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:53 pm

Interesting. I can see benefits for the emergency surgeons like not having to contend with bleeding (its much easier to see and repair a blood vessel that is not pumping blood all over the operating field) but I can see drawbacks as well - like if someone is treated using this and dies how will they be able to say whether it was injuries or procedure that resulted in death.

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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:51 pm

sphinx wrote:Interesting.  I can see benefits for the emergency surgeons like not having to contend with bleeding (its much easier to see and repair a blood vessel that is not pumping blood all over the operating field) but I can see drawbacks as well - like if someone is treated using this and dies how will they be able to say whether it was injuries or procedure that resulted in death.


That was my concern over lawsuits off the back of this.
Still this is certainly promising and it will be interested to see the progress on this

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Post by gerber on Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:21 pm

" Coma " by Robin Cook. Pub 1977.  One of my all time favourite books

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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:37 pm

This isnt quite the same thing - this is suspending people to save them not suspending them to sell their bits to other people in need of transplants.

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