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Medicine

Human "Suspended Animation" Trials To Start This Month 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the buck-rogers dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about a UPMC Presbyterian Hospital trial starting this month which brings us one step closer to suspended animation. "The researchers behind it don't want to call it suspended animation, but it's the most conventional way to explain it. The world's first humans trials will start at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, with 10 patients whose injuries would otherwise be fatal to operate on. A team of surgeons will remove the patient's blood, replacing it with a chilled saline solution that would cool the body, slowing down bodily functions and delaying death from blood loss. According to Dr. Samuel Tisherman, talking to New Scientist: 'We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction... we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.'" We covered this story a few months ago when it was announced.
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Human "Suspended Animation" Trials To Start This Month

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  • Ah. We have a new film title: The Resuscitator.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday May 26, 2014 @12:18PM (#47092871) Homepage Journal

    We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction... we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.

    Someone needs to remind these guys that something is only Science Fiction until it becomes Science Fact.
    Nothing wrong with calling it Suspended Animation if that's EXACTLY what it is.

    • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday May 26, 2014 @01:09PM (#47093203)

      Nothing wrong with calling it Suspended Animation if that's EXACTLY what it is.

      I think that the problem they are trying to avoid is that most people have a preconceived ideas as to what "Suspended Animation" should be. These people are trying as much as possible to stay away from those preconceived ideas, and hence avoid being ridiculed for not living up to a hundred years of sic-fi hype.

      As an analogy, what would happen to a company that after years of design and testing released A FLYING CAR!!!! But play down the fact that this car could only perform vertical flight limited to 6 feet high whilst in your own driveway, solely to facilitate under car maintenance? Sure it flies, and it is useful, but it don't quite meet all those expectations.

      • As an analogy, what would happen to a company that after years of design and testing released A FLYING CAR!!!! But play down the fact that this car could only perform vertical flight limited to 6 feet high whilst in your own driveway, solely to facilitate under car maintenance? Sure it flies, and it is useful, but it don't quite meet all those expectations.

        Bad analogy. Noone would market a car as a "flying car" is the only flight it could do is lift up enough to make it easier to change the oil.

        • by OzPeter (195038)

          Bad analogy. Noone would market a car as a "flying car" is the only flight it could do is lift up enough to make it easier to change the oil.

          Why is it a bad analogy? All these doctors are doing is chilling people down in order to perform a brief surgery, so I can understand why they are trying to stay away from a moniker of "SUSPENDED ANIMATION!!!!!"

          The point I was making with my analogy is that a flying car company wouldn't do it either.

      • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

        I think that the problem they are trying to avoid is that most people have a preconceived ideas as to what "Suspended Animation" should be

        From Websters:
        suspended animation noun: a state in which the processes of the body (such as blood circulation) stop or become very slow for a period of time while a person or animal is unconscious

        Websters et al create definition of words and phrases based upon what the common consensus of their meaning is. The Scientists are just making an arrogant attempt to pre-empt the inevitable media hype that will happen regardless of how they try to spin it.

        Arrogant? Yes, because it shows a condescending and cynical

    • We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction... we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.

      Someone needs to remind these guys that something is only Science Fiction until it becomes Science Fact.
      Nothing wrong with calling it Suspended Animation if that's EXACTLY what it is.

      It's not. This seems more like an induced coma than anything. I doubt it slows or stops aging which is what I would call suspended animation. This may be, however, the first step towards that goal.

    • Probably because in SciFi, suspended animation connotes a near infinite amount of time. Say, for those very long durations of space flight. With the preservation and resuscitation, time is still limited.

  • I think I know where they can find 535 more test subjects ;-)

  • New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/ar... [newscientist.com]
  • I wish the experimental subjects well. If the procedure works, they will not only be saving themselves, but many future patients whose injuries can't be treated quickly enough. And if the procedure becomes routine, it may someday pave humanity's road to the stars.

  • I predict contamination of the saline by parasitic bacteria leads to the first zombies.
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      I say we define people whose animation is suspended by this technique to BE "zombies" and "the undead"

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Well, they were adverse to the oxymoron suspended-animation, perhaps internally they were already using the oxymoron 'the living dead'.
    • While you're being a bit snarky, actually the sterile nature of the fluid will be quite important. We already have staph infections running around hospitals; you might indeed have a situation where people die because they get "bad fluid" much the same way in the early days of HIV you got people who were infected because there was not adequate screening.

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Snarky? That word does not mean what you think it means... or your reading comprehension box is on the fritz.
        • Or the word does not mean what you think it means. Or perhaps what you wrote comes across differently then what you intended :P

          • by Jmc23 (2353706)
            Unlike most people, I have this annoying habit where I check the definitions for pretty much everything. Frequently checking etymology as well. Why, I even read articles!

            See, I have the superpower of being able to admit that i'm wrong and frequently acknowledge my fallibility. So the first thing that occured to me upon reading your comment was that perhaps my understanding of the word snarky was wrong.

            I checked. It's not.

            True, I can't compensate for people who read things that aren't there...

            • Well I would define "snarky" as comments made by someone trying to be a curmudgeon, and a wise ass.

              Checking the dictionary, I see I'm right (although they use a bit different phrasing: 1: crotchety, snappish
              2: sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner )

              Are you telling me you were NOT being sarcastic, and you really believe the results of this research will be zombies?

              • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                No, I was trying to be funny.

                I know the tendency of slashdotters to read-between-the-lines when there isn't anything there, and I actually specifically chose every single word in that sentence to not be loaded. It does not criticize or implicate any parties, it is as precise as necessary, there is no slang or words with double meanings. It is as literal and devoid of possible misinterpretations as possible...

                or so I thought.

  • by qeveren (318805) on Monday May 26, 2014 @12:45PM (#47093065)

    Anything that sounds like science fiction MUST be terrible and is to be avoided at all costs.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday May 26, 2014 @01:15PM (#47093235) Homepage

      Anything that sounds like science fiction MUST be terrible and is to be avoided at all costs.

      Well, if you're doing real research and want to be taken seriously, I can see why you'd prefer to differentiate yourself a little.

      If you said "and we'll put the patient into suspended animation", and the ethics review board rolls their eyes at you, you might have a huge problem.

      Some stuff, sure, it can sound like science fiction. But for medical research, you'd think you want to make sure people know you're not just talking out of your ass.

  • I know how this story turns out...

  • Sounds like something similar to what Lois McMasterBujold described about 20 years ago.

    • Yet still following Frederick Pohl's "Age of the Pussyfoot [wikipedia.org]", ca. 1969, wherein a fireman, badly burned, is suspended as no tech is yet available to remediate his injuries.

      In this book, Pohl not only covers suspension for later remediation, but also basically describes the modern cellphone, although ours don't have quite as many features as his does. Yet. :) Also some other very cool tech and social ideas.

      There are quite a few great ideas that you might think came out of the 80's and 90's SF writers minds, b

  • Sounds a lot like House episode "Autopsy" [wikipedia.org].
  • by Mr_Nitro (1174707)
    this should have like...2000 comments? bah...fucked up world.... lets go out and spend some dollars on shit ... fuck yeah...
  • Rather than suspended animation, they should invent the Stasis chamber in Red Dwarf. (Then wake up 3 million years later with the descendants of your evolved cat!)

    What was it originally used for? Oh yeah, to suspend crewman David Lister for 18 months without pay...

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