A team at the University of Maryland says it has put a human in "suspended animation" for the first time

A group of biomedical researchers at the University of Maryland have put a human in "suspended animation" for the first time, the group's director told New Scientist. Samuel Tisherman, as he is called, has been working on a clinical trial for more than a decade to bring this crazy idea to hospitals around the world. Now you may have succeeded.

Buying trauma time

The Trial For about three years, and with the go-ahead from the US FDA, Tisherman's team has been working to develop what they call "emergency preservation and resuscitation." About 20 people are slated to participate, and according to his calculations, it should be completed by the end of this year. In other words, until next year we will not have the first results.

The technique Trauma is not only the main cause of death in children under 46, but it is something that can happen to us at any time. The EPR or suspended animation is a technique designed to be used in urgent traumas in which you have to intervene against the clock to avoid death. The EPR would try to delay that time by giving doctors more leeway.

As explained in the clinical trial documentation, the technique involves cooling the patient to a temperature of between 10 and 15 degrees, replacing the blood with a very cold saline solution. This causes the neuron, physiological and cellular activity of the patient to stop almost completely. That would extend to two hours what would normally be only minutes.

Previous studies In animals, Tisherman's team had managed to 'suspend' pigs for three hours. Now, they believe they are ready to take the leap: "We felt it was time to bring it to our patients. We are doing it and we are learning a lot as we move forward," he explained.

Lots of doubts. However, we don't know much more: Tisherman explained these advances on Monday at a symposium at the New York Academy of Sciences, but we don't know how many people have undergone this treatment, nor for how long, nor the results.

We will have to wait for the results of this clinical trial and all the research that will come if the data is positive. However, the possibility of being able to master "suspended animation" is excellent news. Not only because it is a technique that could save many lives, but because it makes us dream of many other possibilities.

Image | Piron Guillaume

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