The idea is that, in this state, patients will be unplugged from the medical machinery and taken to an operating room where surgeons have up to two hours to make necessary repairs. Once finished, the saline is replaced with blood, which slowly warms the body. If the heart doesn't start beating on its own, it can be resuscitated.
Doctors are now on call to perform the procedure at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and plan to do so later this month. Getting the go-ahead to perform such a technique hasn't been easy, since it involves medical emergencies when neither the patient nor their family can give consent. But since the method involves people whose injuries are likely to be fatal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light. However, those who want to opt out of such a procedure can do so online.
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While the technique certainly sounds miraculous, doctors remain grounded. "We've always assumed that you can't bring back the dead. But it's a matter of when you pickle the cells," said Peter Rhee, a surgeon from University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the method.