The time when it’s possible to bring the dead back to life may finally be at hand. We’re not talking about zombies, but rather an experimental new procedure that can keep the recently deceased in “suspended animation” for hours, giving doctors the time they need to fix ailments and revive the patient.
Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona, Tucson says the procedure can bring patients back to life, even after any other doctor would deem them dead for good.
The radical procedure, in short, involves draining the body of its blood and replacing it with salt water, cooled more than 36 degrees Fahrenheit below normal body temperature. Doctors would then fix the injury while you are, for most practical purposes, dead. Then, blood is pumped once again through the veins and the body allowed to warm up.
Once the body reaches its normal temperatures again, the heart will start beating once more out of nowhere. Then, you’ll be groggy for a little bit and as good as new the next day, with no indication that you were basically dead for an hour or two.
This sci-fi-esque procedure isn’t just some pipe dream either. In fact, it’s been extensively tested on animals by Rhee and Samuel Tishman at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Earlier this year, Tishman made international headlines announcing that the procedure was finally ready to begin human trials on gunshot victim in a Pittsburgh hospital. This procedure will be their last hope, and if it works, it may soon become a common procedure and go on to save countless lives.
Rhee even suspects this may be the beginning of long-term suspended animation.
Earlier this summer, BBC spoke with Tisherman about the future of the operation. It’s a fascinating read if you have the time.