Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This new science will save lives

This is gripping science...
It was always assumed that death came about when heart/brain cells died. So when heart attack or drowning victims are brought to the ER, it is assumed that we must pump oxygen into the body to try to prevent cell death. BUT when oxygen starved heart cells were actually looked at under a microscope, emergency medicine authority Dr. Lance Becker found no evidence of cell death. EVEN AFTER ONE HOUR. But if these cells are deprived of oxygen for more than five minutes they will die once their oxygen supply is resumed.

So instead of rapid infusion of oxygen, epinephrine, electrical shocks to the heart... which is standard ER protocol in an emergency... researchers are creating new ways to treat these victims. For instance a heart/lung bypass machine that can maintain circulation to the brain until the heart can be safely restarted. And an injectible solution of salt and ice to cool the blood quickly.

Which reminds me of another interesting medical treatment. Newborns with traumatic births that involve oxygen deprivation, survive much more favorably if their body temperature is cooled. This cutting edge science is useful for even home midwifes who can use frozen peas to save lives.


  • At 5:06 AM, Blogger Benjamin said…

    I don't mean to pop the bubble, but cells are damaged and can't be fixed at that point. One of those too good to be true. Check out the below link (especially the first comment) for some good commentary on it


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