Scientists at Yale University have used new technology to restore blood flow and internal organs in pigs one hour after the animals died, Nature magazine reports.
During the experiment, scientists artificially induced cardiac arrest in pigs under anesthesia. One hour later, the body was hooked up to a machine which replaced the heart and lung function. In stages, the animal was injected with the experimental OrganEx fluid, which was shown to preserve tissue integrity, stop cell death and restore the function of key organs.
"This is a truly meaningful study. It demonstrates that after death, cells in mammalian organs (including humans) do not die for many hours. <...> Scientifically speaking, death is a biological process that is treatable and reversible within hours," the journal quotes Sam Parnia, director of intensive care research at the Grossman School of Medicine.
Researchers found that certain heart, liver and kidney cell functions were fully restored after six hours. The article does not specify what the fate of the pigs that underwent the surgery will be.
The doctor said the results of the study would help preserve donated organs from deceased humans to be used for transplants. Doctors will also be able to revive humans and restore organ function after cardiac arrest caused by blood clots or massive internal bleeding, the article says.