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Neither Dead Nor Alive - But Not In Suspended Animation

At the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, doctors are ready to impose a unique physical state - neither dead nor alive - upon gunshot and knife-wound victims.

But don't call it "suspended animation" - that would be science fiction.

The technique was first demonstrated in pigs in 2002 by Hasan Alam at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and his colleagues. The animals were sedated and a massive haemorrhage induced, to mimic the effect of multiple gunshot wounds...

"We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction," says Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at [UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh], who is leading the trial. "So we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation."

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. "If a patient comes to us two hours after dying you can't bring them back to life. But if they're dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed," says surgeon Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique.

Philip K. Dick fans are warming up their protophason amplifiers, which are what you would use to communicate with someone in cold-pack:

Parson's said, "...Can he be brought out of the cold-pack?"

"Yes," Helmar said. "For no more than half an hour at a time, however..."

Now the cube had been opened by Lodge technicians. The cold-pack was being sucked out greedily by plastic suction tendrils. In a moment the body would be exposed...

"He will warm rapidly," Helmar grated. "It's no form of refrigeration you're familiar with.
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's cold-pack)

From via Frolix_8.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/2/2014)

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