from the on-ice dept.
Pipedot has picked up on this remarkable New Scientist article: "Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death."
From the article:
Doctors will try to save the lives of 10 patients with knife or gunshot wounds by placing them in suspended animation, buying time to fix their injuries. ... The technique involves replacing all of a patient's blood with a cold saline solution, which rapidly cools the body and stops almost all cellular activity. ... At lower temperatures, cells need less oxygen because all chemical reactions slow down. This explains why people who fall into icy lakes can sometimes be revived more than half an hour after they have stopped breathing. ... The technique was first demonstrated in pigs in 2002.
The surgeon leading the trial (who apparently prefers to avoid the term "suspended animation") says he "eventually hopes to extend the technique to other conditions." I'm not surprised. Isn't the potential here enormous?
And the ethical issues are interesting in their own right. These are discussed towards the end of the article, and in this separate (self-contradictory) opinion piece (which appeared in print under the headline "Opt out is a cop-out").