New Injections Can Keep People Alive—Without Breath

Scientists' invention could save millions of lives a year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 28, 2012 4:46 PM CDT
Particles allow your body to get oxygen without breathing.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists in Boston are reporting what could be a major breakthrough: They've designed oxygen-carrying particles that can let patients live for up to half an hour—without taking a breath. The injected material give doctors time to address emergencies in patients who can't breathe with far less risk of brain damage or heart attack, meaning this could save millions of lives yearly, according to Gizmodo.

The team tested the solution in rabbits, and found that it boosted the animals' blood oxygen saturation to just about normal—in seconds. The rabbits were able to live for 15 minutes with their windpipes blocked, the Atlantic reports. "Eventually, this could be stored in syringes on every code cart in a hospital, ambulance or transport helicopter to help stabilize patients who are having difficulty breathing," says a researcher. (Read more respiratory problems stories.)

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