A crew of surgeons on the College of Maryland School of Medicine has placed a human patient in “suspended animation” as according to a report by New Scientist on Wednesday. The process is meant to lengthen the time surgeons have to repair traumatic accidents by deliberately lowering patients’ body temperatures.
The Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR) for Cardiac Arrest From Trauma (EPR-CAT) trial has been within the works since 2010 and intends to cool the body of patients presenting with excessive trauma quickly — like a gunshot or knife wound. The prognosis for this kind of injury is grim: Because of fast blood loss, these patients go into cardiac arrest. With the center stopped, there are solely minutes for surgeons to stem the bleeding and get the center pumping once earlier than injury happens. The percentages of survival are between 2 to 5%. Even when sufferers survive, the shortage of oxygen attributable to the accidents may end up in everlasting harm to the mind.
Samuel Tisherman, who’s overseeing the EPR-CAT trial, suspects that fast cooling or “induced hypothermia” can purchase trauma sufferers additional time. The scientific trial goals to change the physique’s temperature by about 27 levels Celsius, dropping it under ten degrees Celsius (50 levels Fahrenheit) with an ice-chilly saline resolution. In computing parlance, the thought is that induced hypothermia places the body right into a kind of “standby” mode. Metabolic processes decelerate, our cells do not want as a lot of oxygen, and so cell injury is prevented. When the damages are repaired, the system might be rebooted — hopefully with no lengthy-lasting results on the hardware.
There’s the sound scientific motive to imagine rapid cooling can obtain such miraculous feats. The New York Instances reported the same trial in dogs (with the considerably alarming headline “Zombie Dogs”) in December 2005, the place canines ventured into the afterlife and back again.