Doctors Claim Suspended Animation Success

#Health

Fri, Jan 20th, 2006 03:14 by capnasty NEWS

Researchers are testing potentially life-saving techniques for keeping humans in a state of suspended animation while surgeons repair their wounds.

It is thought this method and others could one day be used on car crash and gunshot victims, as well as in the battlefield to treat wounded soldiers.

A surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Hasan Alam, has tested the technique about 200 times on pigs, with a 90 per cent success rate.

First he anaesthetises the animal, then cuts a major vein and artery in its abdomen to simulate multiple gunshots to a person's chest and abdomen.As the pig rapidly loses about half its blood and enters a state of shock, Dr Alam drains its blood and stores it before pumping chilled organ preservation fluid into its system.

The animal's body temperature falls to about 10C until it is in a state of "profound hypothermia" and has no pulse and no electrical activity in its brain.

But after the blood stored earlier is warmed and pumped back into the pig's body its heart starts beating again and it comes back to life.

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