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Science & Technology

Can humans breathe through their rectum ?

By T.K. Randall
May 15, 2021 · Comment icon 26 comments



It might sound ridiculous, but there is actually some truth to it. Image Credit: sxc.hu
A new study has revealed that pigs and other mammals can absorb oxygen through their rear-ends.
According to Takanori Takebe at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan, and colleagues, it may be possible to treat people with low blood oxygen levels by administering oxygen - not using a typical ventilator - but by giving them enemas containing a special oxygen-rich fluid.

Ventilators, which administer oxygen into the lungs, certainly do the job, but they can have unintended side-effects due to their potential to damage the sensitive and delicate lung tissue.

To get around this problem, Takebe turned to a very different orifice; the rectums of mammals happen to be coated with a thin membrane capable of absorbing certain chemicals into the bloodstream.

By administering pigs with oxygen-rich perfluorocarbon (better known as the basis for the breathable fluid in the movie 'The Abyss'), the researchers discovered that they were able to increase the animals' blood oxygen levels in a similar way to using a ventilator.
Such a treatment, Takebe argues, could be used in countries without access to ventilators.

"Ventilators are super-expensive and need a number of medical staff to manage," he said.

"This is just a simple enema."

Whether there will ever be a mass take-up of this idea however remains to be seen.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (26)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Setton 2 years ago
So, how many people came to this thread with a post in mind then saw Xeno had beaten them to it?
Comment icon #18 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
It's what we call bad breath?
Comment icon #19 Posted by zep73 2 years ago
Man in court, after beating the nurse who gave him an enema: - She tried to drown me!!
Comment icon #20 Posted by Dejarma 2 years ago
yeah I've often wondered this.. Some of the so-called studies I've heard about over the years kinda makes me think WTF!! I remember years ago hearing about UK lotto money given to a European yogurt manufacturer to help the 'study' of making their yogurt thicker.. Again= WTF.. Anyways WTF do I know... Another 'study' I remember had something to do with what socks you put on & how it makes you feel!?!? Yet again= WTF?!? Oh what a wonderful caring study- money well spent
Comment icon #21 Posted by Abramelin 2 years ago
None. Xeno's name showed up in the list of forums and the list of threads in this forum.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Setton 2 years ago
I don't know what part of that confused you but I suggest you just try reading again.
Comment icon #23 Posted by spartan max2 2 years ago
@Dejarma As crass as it is this actually has alot of applications.  They rescued mice and pigs who went into respitory failure which this knowledge which means we might be able to develop new emergency procedures to rescue humans with respitory failure as well. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mammals-can-use-their-intestines-to-breathe#:~:text=As the intestinal gas ventilation,especially in severely ill people. Also in the OP article it was talking about how they improved people's oxygen blood level with this knowledge.  This could be useful knowledge for nations without enough venti... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Dejarma 2 years ago
yeah good point
Comment icon #25 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
Can humans breathe through their rectum ?   Exhale only
Comment icon #26 Posted by moonman 2 years ago
Instead of jamming air tubes up people's butts, how about just oxygenating their blood directly with a machine? It would be another machine, true, but as far as I know there isn't an air infusion machine for your ass either. You need new equipment to take the place of ventilators regardless, so I don't see how this will solve any problems in the short term. Or is the idea to...just...hold their ass open so air gets in? Seems...icky....and....you might get a surprise at any time.


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