Salt water to replace blood in ER trial
TRAUMA patients arriving at an emergency room at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center may find themselves enrolled in a startling medical experiment. Surgeons will drain their blood and replace it with freezing salt water.
Without a heartbeat and brain activity, the patients will be clinically dead. By slowing their metabolism, doctors hope to buy valuable time in which to mend the victims' wounds.
But scientists have never tried anything like this in humans. In their trial, doctors will be performing the procedure only on patients who have lost so much blood that they go into cardiac arrest.
"In these situations, less than one in 10 survive," said Samuel Tisherman, the lead researcher of the study.