Cooling the blood is routinely used to stop the heart before open-heart surgery. Lowering the body’s temperature lowers its metabolic rate, slowing the onset of tissue death and thus buying surgeons precious time. But replacing a patient’s blood entirely with ice-cold salt water is new. At such cold temperatures the patients will be devoid of brain activity, and thus the patient will appear to be dead.
Because of the unforeseen nature of their trauma, the patients in this study will not be in a position to give their informed consent. Nevertheless, the clinical trial apparently has been approved by whatever ethics committees needed to sign off on it. Presumably there is little to be lost, and everything to be gained, by at least giving it a try.
It’ll be interesting to hear the patients’ experiences of being “brought back” from a state of no brain activity.