Alcor Conference – Steven Harris

[Alcor Conference – Table of Contents]

[Recap]

Steven Harris is a researcher developing “Rapid Body Cooling for Prevention of Brain Damage.” Rapid body cooling technologies are important to both cryonics and emerging short-term treatments. Hypothermia induced by lowering the body temperature by 4 degrees Celsius in five minutes could allow sufficient time for medical care workers to work to treat a patient, say, after a stabbing wound or other life-threatening injury.

Post-resuscitation hypothermia was discovered by accident in 1980 in dogs. Brain damage can be prevented and the animal resusciated after clinical death. The first human clinical trials failed, because it took too long to start cooling the patient’s body. Two other trials have been positive, including resusciation of cardiac-arrest patients.

Harris is working on a technology to rapidly cool the body. Using Cold Perfluorocarbon Liquid Lung Lavage, Harris has been able to lower the temperature 5.3 degrees in 5 minutes in a dog. The next day, the dog was up and active again.

[Commentary]

This is an incredibly exciting technology, but Harris seemed to be very pessimistic about popularizing it. According to Harris, because of short patents and socialism, new resuscitation technologies are difficult to develop and spread. There were a lot of technical details in the talk, and the speaker had to skip over many of them when time ran out. He ended with a video of a dog that appeared to be fine 24 hours after use of the technology.

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