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New methods could halt the dying process


Posted on Tuesday, 22 October, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments

New techniques could eventually help to save many more lives. Image Credit: Anastasia Puscian / US Navy
The exact point at which a person is dead and beyond resuscitation is becoming increasingly blurred.
As scientists learn more about the point at which the body dies, the less it seems we actually know about the process. Previously it had been accepted that irreversible brain damage can occur only a few minutes after someone's heart stops, but now it seems that it may be possible to revive someone even up to an hour after being declared clinically dead.

"Historically, when a person's heart stopped and they stopped breathing, for all intents and purposes, they were dead," said Dr. Sam Parnia. "There was nothing you could do to change that." With cases on the rise of people being successfully revived after longer and longer periods it seems that the traditional concept of the point of death may in fact be obselete.

One of the key techniques being considered in the resuscitation of patients is to induce hypothermia, a state in which the core temperature of the body is reduced by several degrees and which can help protect the brain for much longer, increasing the chances of a successful revival.

"What we've come to learn is that those notions of irreversibility of brain damage are dead wrong," said neurologist Dr. Stephan Mayer. "If you make those judgments too soon without going fully all the way, you may be actually writing people off."

Source: Live Science | Comments (12)

Tags: Resuscitation


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by LimeGelatin on 22 October, 2013, 15:47
Interesting...
Comment icon #4 Posted by highdesert50 on 22 October, 2013, 20:28
The use of hypothermia in cardiac incidents is integral to currently used resuscitation algorithms. The method does make a statistical difference in recovery. It will interesting to see results when this fully transfers to the field for widespread EMS application.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Apollyon734 on 22 October, 2013, 22:48
A little more investing in Stem cell research to stop aging, and we can call it a ball game.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Stegosaurus on 22 October, 2013, 23:30
This is splendid!
Comment icon #7 Posted by kannin on 22 October, 2013, 23:35
very interesting, i watched an episode of wierd or what and a toddler wandered out side at night during a snow storm in only a diaper and was frozen solid with a core temp of 60 something and she revived no problem and was out there for hours "clinicly dead" the world facinates me sometimes p.s episode strucka cord cuz im a father and gave me the willies on what id feel if i found my kid frozen outside
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin on 23 October, 2013, 0:52
An ice cream truck relabeled "Ambulance"
Comment icon #9 Posted by kannin on 23 October, 2013, 0:58
epic, but seemingly acceptable near death experience equiped with fudgecicles
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin on 23 October, 2013, 1:10
Yeah, and I'm not totally certain about this, but I heard that some NFL medic teams have special ice packs to put around a perceived severe neck injury for a similar purpose... slowing down the injury progression prior to getting in a hospital. Don't know if it's in widespread use.
Comment icon #11 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 23 October, 2013, 13:33
Wow think thats a great feat for medical science. But can they cure the person from the disease that caused him/her to die?
Comment icon #12 Posted by kannin on 23 October, 2013, 17:04
i think this method most likely apllies to impact or coma based injuries id imagine


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