Suspended Animation Is FDA Approved and Heading To Clinical Trials
The next new thing doctors are trying to do to save our lives? Bring us that much closer to death.
Suspended animation is an experimental technique that could buy critically injured patients the crucial extra time needed for surgeons to save their lives. Dr. Peter Rhee, chief of Tucson, Arizona’s trauma center is one of several pioneers behind a growing push to graduate suspended animation from experimental vetting to common treatment. He’s getting there. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved his technique for human trials, and he has secured funding from the Army to conduct the feasibility phase. Dr. Rhee is currently lobbying for funds to conduct a full trial. If he’s successful human trials could begin as early as next year.
The idea is simple: slow a person’s metabolism to such a crawl that the process of dying from say, a gunshot wound, is held in check. Like an animal in hibernation breathing, heartbeat, brain function and general metabolic functions are slowed drastically. Talking to the Arizona Star Daily, Dr. Rhee called suspended animation “when you are no longer alive but you are not dead.”