(LONDON GUARDIAN) Doctors have put humans into a state of suspended animation for the first time in a groundbreaking trial that aims to buy more time for surgeons to save seriously injured patients.
The process involves rapidly cooling the brain to less than 10C by replacing the patient’s blood with ice-cold saline solution. Typically the solution is pumped directly into the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.
Advertisement - story continues below
Known formally as emergency preservation and resuscitation, or EPR, the procedure is being trialled on people who sustain such catastrophic injuries that they are in danger of bleeding to death and who suffer a heart attack shortly before they can be treated. The patients, who are often victims of stabbings or shootings, would normally have less than a 5% chance of survival.