Scientists at the University of Maryland claim that they have put a human patient in suspended animation successfully. This remarkable achievement can save millions of lives says Samuel Tisherman, the spokesperson for the university. According to Tisherman, there has been an exponential rise in the number of trauma suffering patients. This can be the result of a gunshot or an accident. Moreover, several people have lost their lives in the past few years as there was no immediate treatment for trauma. Nevertheless, with the help of suspended animation, the lives of such patients can be saved effectively. At present, the University of Maryland’s best approach to help patients suffering from the trauma is to give them EPR or Emergency preservation and resuscitation. However, it is not enough, says the research team.
How Does the New Treatment Work?
In situations, where an emergency operation has to be performed, the scientists freeze the patient’s body to 10 to 15 degrees. The scientists achieve this by replacing the blood of the patient with ice-cold saline. Though the patient is practically dead at this point in time, it provides doctors crucial 2 hours to perform necessary operations. During this procedure, the entire brain activity of the patient comes to a halt. This helps the surgeon by focusing on the injured area, rather than focusing on the loss of blood.
The key to the success of this procedure is that when cooled, the oxygen hungry chemical reaction in cells stops. This, as a result, gives the surgeon a better chance of fixing the patient before warming up the patient and restart the heart.
However, Tisherman also claims the team is not trying to achieve anything for sake of recognition. He claims that the researchers are just trying to buy more time to save lives.