Victims of accidents are often deprived of oxygen for extended periods of time as their blood fails to pump oxygen to the brain. But a new technique developed by Dr. Hasam Alan from Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital will give accident victims a chance for survival they would have never had before. The chilling technique, however, will be sure to make patients’ blood run cold.
The groundbreaking technique involves pumping a specially designed solution at freezing cold temperatures into victims’ blood. The ensuing slowdown of metabolism due to extreme temperature would then keep oxygen starvation from occurring in the brain and thus extend the life of victims by several minutes. A case that would originally have ended in death could result instead in survival without mental debilitation or even as much tissue damage as before.
Some injuries already are treated by applying ice to reduce swelling, but this technique would work on a very different principle, relying on the solution to run through the veins and organs and even in some cases reach the brain. The incredible technique would then allow those injured to be transported to medical facilities as their body undergoes a form of torpor very similar to a snake in cold weather. Once they reach the hospital, the treatment they receive there would for all purposes be far quicker than had the patient been transported, continuing to sustain injury while in transport.
The technique has already been tested on hundreds of pigs with a large amount of success, and is scheduled for trials on humans soon.
If successful, this cryogenic medical breakthrough could help accident victims as well as those working in hazardous environments and even soldiers. But perhaps most interesting is what technology could follow the new breakthrough discovery.
Could we eventually see cryogenic injector packs that can be applied in the field as well? With the improvement of robotics and other automated systems, could we one day see an injury response system that injects soldiers in the field with the freezing substance immediately after injury thanks to an automated unit installed in specially designed armor? And with this cryogenics technology becoming ever more advanced could it eventually even make its way into the cryogenic preservation field? Could we one day be able to freeze ourselves far more effectively after death only to be revived later thanks to this incredible technology?
With an average of 115 people dying from car accidents each day in the United States alone, there is no shortage of a need for change in how paramedics are able to rescue the victims of auto accidents. Industrial mishaps additionally claim countless more lives per year. But with job sites with trained medical professionals to administer a cryogenic freezing agent, the future may see fewer fatalities and permanent injuries.