Suspended animation – an area of discussion that has been explored many times over in science fiction movies, allowing us humans to travel across great distances in the vastness of space without actually growing a single day older, to so speak. Well, it does seem as though human suspended animation trials are about to begin, with knife- and gunshot-wound victims being right up there on the list in what could possibly be an emergency life-saving technique that might bring about a whole lot of hope to humanity in due time.
The first attempt at human suspended animation will happen at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, although the end objective is to save lives and not to travel from one planet to another. This particular technique will be used on 10 patients whose wounds would be considered as lethal, in order to help the surgeon have more time to save the life of the victim. It will work through the cooling of the body without applying an external temperature change.
Basically, all of the patient’s blood will be removed, and in place of the blood would be a cold saline solution. Not only does this cool down the body, it will also do away with the normal need for oxygen, without actually affecting the brain of the patient at the end of it all.
Dr. Samuel Tisherman, the surgeon who will lead the trial, shared, “We are suspending life, but we don’t like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction. So we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.”