New technology of human body freezing
A ground-breaking technique that freezes bodies to the brink of death could help doctors in emergency surgery by putting patients into a state of suspended animation.
Surgeons are pioneering a method of inducing extreme hypothermia in trauma patients so their bodies shut down entirely during major surgery, giving doctors more time to operate.
The technique helps to reduce the damage done to the brain and other organs while the patient's heart is not beating.
Researchers will begin the first human trials of the technique, which involves replacing a patient's blood with a cold solution to rapidly reduce body temperature.
The cold treatment, being developed at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, will result in patient's bodies being cooled to as low as 10 degrees.
The normal body temperature is 37 degrees and humans usually die rapidly if the core body temperature drops below 22 degrees.
Trials of the technique in animals had shown it to be hugely successful.
Cooling rapidly in this fashion can convert almost certain death into a 90 per cent survival rate.
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