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Monday
Nov132006

Emergency Medicine: Suspended animation ready for human clinical trials?

frozen_sperm.jpgWar triggers advances in trauma medicine.

Brain damage that doesn't start for two hours?

Docs at Mass General have placed pigs in suspended animation for hours with no discernable effects. First the battlefield, then the ER. 

From CNN: Docs test 'suspended animation' as potential battlefield treatment.

 "It's a huge leap over the four or five minutes that we had to fix injuries to about two to three hours. Metabolism doesn't come to a halt. So there's still metabolic activity ongoing and the clock is still ticking, just at a slower rate," says Alam. "You buy precious time, but it's a finite amount of time...

...When a patient suffers a traumatic injury, such as a stab or gunshot wound, or a brain or head injury, Alam induces hypothermia by slowly pumping out the patient's blood and replacing it with fluid similar to that used in organ transplants. That process cools the body down gradually from the normal state of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

Once the body is cooled, the patient has almost no blood, little to no brain activity and no heartbeat. The body's slowed processes give the doctor time to fix all the underlying injuries. Once the wounds are treated, the patient is gradually warmed back up, resuscitated and blood pumped back into the body. The patient slowly regains signs of life.

For information about life after a traumatic brain injury visit theheadinjurysite.com

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