“Hibernate” Humans?

May 28, 2007 at 12:21 pm (frightening things) ()

Doctors are working on “induced hibernation,” which could put patients to sleep for many months and aid astronauts on long journeys and those suffering from serious injury.

Hasan Alam, a surgeon at Massachusetts general hospital and consultant to the US army, is poised to start the first human trials before the end of the year.

Last week he said that he wanted to equip ambulances with a clear saline solution called plasma expander that would be injected into seriously injured victims at the scene of a car accident.

The plasma would rapidly send body temperature from 37C to 10C, slowing the metabolism, delaying the onset of shock and limiting damage from wounds.

Hmm.

Alam has experimented on eight-stone Yorkshire pigs, stopping the heart and electrical activity in the brain for up to two hours before slowly replacing the plasma with warm blood and reviving the animals with no apparent long-term effects.

The plasma could also be tested on soldiers: many survive an initial injury only to die waiting for treatment.

Interesting…although I do seriously take issue with the idea that soldiers are appropriate test subjects. Pigs too, for that matter. I guess an injured soldier about to die waiting for treatment doesn’t have much to lose, but doesn’t it make more sense to try and improve the systems that handle injured soldiers or, you know, END WAR than to use a process that hasn’t been proven safe and effective yet?

Anyway, interesting.

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