Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center start testing a new technique of saving lives. This will concern critical patients who received dangerous injuries that may be incompatible with life. In fact, doctors themselves will kill patients to save their lives afterwards.
Imagine a person brought to the critical care department with gunshot and stab wounds that caused massive bleeding and almost deprived the patient of a chance to survive. Usually doctors call these injuries incompatible with life. Usually, doctors are trying to save these patients by conducting emergency operations and transfusing huge amounts of blood. Unfortunately, in most cases it does not give positive results – the body simply cannot cope with the traumatic shock.
Now one of the American medical centers will start testing a new system of saving patients with grave injuries. They will pump out the rest of the body’s blood replacing it with ice-cold saline. Naturally, this will stop the heart and brain activity and will make the patient clinically dead. In fact, doctors will kill their patient.
However, this will significantly improve the chances for recovery. Causing hypothermia, they will significantly slow down the metabolism and the functioning of all body organs. Thereby medics will get the precious time to heal the wounds on the patient’s body, which they usually lack in other settings.
Scientists had never tried anything like this on people. If you consider that in serious cases the patients are often brought unconscious, nobody will require an informed consent from anyone (by the time you find the relatives with a right to decide, the patient may be dead). Doctors from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center suggest that people who do not want to be rescued this way should wear special bracelets. All the others will be saved without their consent.
A trauma specialist Dr. Thomas Scalea from the University of Maryland jokes that this resembles science fiction, like the Star Wars. He says if they told people three or four years ago about something like that, the people would think they were crazy.