Latest in Science

Image credit:

Human 'suspended animation' trials to start this month

22 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

The researchers behind it don't want to call it suspended animation, but it's the most conventional way to explain it. The world's first humans trials will start at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, with 10 patients whose injuries would otherwise be fatal to operate on. A team of surgeons will remove the patient's blood, replacing it with a chilled saline solution that would cool the body, slowing down bodily functions and delaying death from blood loss. According to Dr. Samuel Tisherman, talking to New Scientist: "We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction... we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation."

Successful tests on pigs were achieved in 2000. After inducing fatal cuts, scientists were able to drop the body temperatures by around 10 degrees celsius. All the control pigs died, while those 'preserved" had a 90 percent survival rate - after some heart restarts. Like these trials, the technique is currently only useful for emergency procedures after severe injuries, situations with a survival rate of only seven percent. Funding for part of the project has come from the US Army, and the idea apparently came from the Vietnam War, where military surgeons noted that the leading cause of death was blood loss in the first 5 to 20 minutes after injury, even though roughly a third of the soldiers had wounds that would have been survivable in a typical emergency room. Science fiction-like suspended animation is still a way off: this preservation state can apparently only be prolonged for around four hours. Not nearly enough for an intergalactic journey, but possibly enough to save lives.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
22 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines

Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines

View
Watch Al Pacino hunt Nazis in Jordan Peele's upcoming Amazon series

Watch Al Pacino hunt Nazis in Jordan Peele's upcoming Amazon series

View
AT&T will bring real 5G to millions of customers this year

AT&T will bring real 5G to millions of customers this year

View
Tesla's electric ATV matches well with the Cybertruck

Tesla's electric ATV matches well with the Cybertruck

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr