Have we been burying the dead?

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Grandmaster

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Consider someone who has just died of a heart attack. His organs are intact, he hasn't lost blood. All that's happened is his heart has stopped beating—the definition of "clinical death"—and his brain has shut down to conserve oxygen. But what has actually died?

The patient couldn't be revived because the tissues of his brain and heart had suffered irreversible damage from lack of oxygen. This process was understood to begin after just four or five minutes. If the patient doesn't receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation within that time, and if his heart can't be restarted soon thereafter, he is unlikely to recover.

That dogma went unquestioned until researchers actually looked at oxygen-starved heart cells under a microscope. What they saw amazed them, according to Dr. Lance Becker, an authority on emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "After one hour," he says, "we couldn't see evidence the cells had died. We thought we'd done something wrong." In fact, cells cut off from their blood supply died only hours later.

But if the cells are still alive, why can't doctors revive someone who has been dead for an hour? Because once the cells have been without oxygen for more than five minutes, they die when their oxygen supply is resumed. It was that "astounding" discovery, Becker says, that led him to his post as the director of Penn's Center for Resuscitation Science, a newly created research institute operating on one of medicine's newest frontiers: treating the dead.
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SPeedY_B

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Interesting. Medical science is such a wonderful thing :)
 

Petros

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This is fascinating. It reminds me of that story about how they were filling dogs with cold saline and reviving them hours later. This technology could be great!
 

Steevo

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Yay, years of killing patients as it was commonly accepted belief that they were dead.





One of these days Lucy, POW, right to the moon!
 

Sazar

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This explains everything.

George Romero had it right all along.
 

falconguard

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So if the dead aren't really dead how do we know that the living are really allive?



oooohhhhh existentialist you are now on a fence.
 

Aprox

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*hopes for millions of angry zombie heart patients*
 

ray_gillespie

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This is fascinating. It reminds me of that story about how they were filling dogs with cold saline and reviving them hours later. This technology could be great!

Was that the thing in the 1930s or are you referring to a more recent event? Sounds interesting anyway, do you have a link with any more info?
 

Mastershakes

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I dug up a few graves last night. They were still very dead. Disheartened, I went to the pub for a beer or four.
 

gonaads

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They are not dead, they are asleep. Shhhhhh, don't wake them, they could get mad.
 

Evil Marge

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Considering what they do to your body after you die I doubt there's much chance of being buried alive :speechless:
 

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