Suspended Animation Coming To A Hospital Near You


The science fiction concept of suspended animation may soon become a fact with a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based hospital about to test the technique for the first time.

Physicians at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital will attempt to try to save the lives of ten patients who present at the hospital with knife-wound or gunshot victims by literally stopping their lives, to only later revive them.

The proposed technique, tested in a laboratory but thus far to be used on humans, involves replacing blood with a cold saline solution, rapidly cooling the patients body and stopping most cellular activity.

The method will only be implemented where there’s a strong chance of the patient dying before surgery can take place or be completed in an attempt to save the patient; the short version being that it gives the doctors more time to save the patient.

The doctors behind the trial though aren’t officially calling it suspended animation, with a surgeon at the hospital telling New Scientist “We are suspending life, but we don’t like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction…so we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.”

If successful, the procedure could easily be extended to other patients, and in theory eventually be extended to space travel…well we can only hope anyway.


Duncan Riley

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