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Cold Hearts May Save Lives and Redefine Death

Monday, June 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Gunshot Victims to Hover Between Life and Death

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC  are trying to buy extra time to save the lives of shooting and stabbing victims by pumping ice cold saline solution into the aorta to lower the body temperature to 50 degrees below normal and put the patient into a kind of suspended animation. Cooling the body of patients with massive bleeding to 50 degrees below normal body temperature may improve survival chances of patients suffering devastating traumatic injuries. Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at the hospital, who is leading the clinical trial for patients who would otherwise die, calls the technique  emergency preservation and resuscitation. Surgeon Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique in 2000, said “the definition of dead changed” after researchers found that pigs that had no brain or heart activity as life-threatening  wounds were repaired during hypothermia could be restored to normal when their bodies were warmed.  Read stories in,,  and The New York Times. .


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