Successful Suspended Animation – Deep Space Journeys Could Be Closer Than We Think!

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Doctors Successfully Place A Human in Suspended Animation for the First Time Ever!

Despite their intentions, doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have opened a Pandora’s box, of sorts. Dr. Samuel Tisherman says that his team there have successfully placed at least one patient in suspended animation. Dr. Tisherman is a little scarce with details beyond that, however. He won’t reveal much about the new procedure’s survival rates, but we do have an idea of how the procedure is done. 

Dr. Tisherman says that the goal of the new procedure, called emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR), is to buy doctors time to save people suffering from critical trauma. For example, a patient with a gunshot wound who is in cardiac arrest and has lost nearly half their blood may only have minutes in that situation. If doctors aren’t able to successfully stabilize the patient in that amount of time, they don’t have a chance. 

EPR, on the other hand, is a technique by which such patients get their blood replaced with ice-cold saline solution. This cools the core body temperature down to between 10 and 15 degrees Celcius and nearly stops all brain activity. At that time, doctors can have up to two hours to repair the patient’s wounds. 

Saving Lives, Not Sending People into Space?

Yes. For now. Dr. Tisherman seems pretty adamant about that point. In fact, he says, “I want to make it clear that we’re not trying to send people off to Saturn. We’re trying to buy ourselves more time to save lives.” 

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the genie’s not out of the bottle on this, though. Scientists don’t get to keep their discoveries to themselves. Sure, the FDA has the final say on human trials here, but once the trial results are published, then other individuals, companies, and countries will have access to all of that information, and many of them will have their own agendas in building on it. Therefore, regardless of what Dr. Tisherman’s intentions are, over the next few decades scientists around the world will be working on lengthening the survival rates, perfecting the technique, and preparing people for the ultimate goal of cryosleep. 

Currently, the procedure only works for a couple of hours on humans, but animal testing has yielded longer results. And the proof of concept, of course, is still in its infancy. One way or another, though, the next few decades are going to be very interesting indeed.

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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