After years of sci-fi-inspired fantasies about the technique, a team of doctors in Pittsburgh are finally ready to start testing out a procedure that involves putting patients in a state of “suspended animation” while they repair their injuries. Put bluntly, they’re going to kill people and bring them back to life. If you haven’t heard of this method before, prepare to have your mind blown. Often patients with massive trauma like a gunshot or stab wound bleed to death before doctors have the chance to fix the structural injuries.
Once you’re stabbed or shot, you’re living on borrowed time. The faster you’re brought to the ER, the better chances you have of survival. Usually, the process of keeping you alive until then involves transfusions and stopping the loss of blood as best as can be done, but a newly approved technique just might buy you a few extra hours without the need for all that extra blood. The idea, strange as it may sound, is to keep patients in suspended animation — neither alive nor dead — until your body is whole once again. To do this, doctors will be kept at the ready at Pittsburgh’s UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Once a stabbing or gunshot victim is admitted in critical condition, these doctors will go to work, entirely replacing the patient’s blood with a cold saline solution. By stopping nearly all the body’s cellular activity, this solution basically brings you to death’s door without letting you die.