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Emergency Non-cryo Head Preservation Device

A device that makes body-bypass neck vessel surgery quick and easy.
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Human brain can survive very short period of time without oxygen, and survivals of prolonged deprivation of breathing generally result in permanent brain damages, which makes cryopreservation taking many minutes to refrigerate and freeze a human body unlikely to be successful.

Imagine a device, which anyone could have at home. The device would contain a scalpels necessary to cut through the neck to reach the arteries and veins passing from the body to the brain. Next, to avoid human errors of cuting the veins and arteries manually, there would be prepared clips engineered so that once you place a clip, it cuts through the vessel and creates a bypass via the machine's internal tubes. The machine would contain a handy pump that works to suck out the blood from the body into a container with specialized walls of very high surface area to let the oxygen in carbon dioxide out, and circulate the 5 liters of human's own blood dedicatedly through the brain. The sack would contain slowly diluting vitamins and sources of energy, and extra supplies that can be activated by squeezing extra little sacks full of nutrients attached to the container.

According to BiodigitalHuman.com, there are 4 main vessels:

- 2 Common Carotid Arteries: "In human anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood."

- 2 Internal Jugular Veins: "The two internal jugular veins collect the blood from the brain, the superficial parts of the face and the neck."

This would hopefully let the brain survive until the arrival of the emergency, where the specialized life support for the head would be provided.

Inyuki, Oct 01 2012

Ibn al-Nadim, ”The Head” http://books.google...v=onepage&q&f=false
A solution of oil and borax [pocmloc, Oct 01 2012]

Not for the squeamish. http://www.ebaumswo.../video/watch/29025/
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 01 2012]

U.S. patent #4,666,425 http://patft.uspto....66425&RS=PN/4666425
Device for perfusing an animal head [4and20, Oct 08 2012]

gizmag.com http://www.gizmag.c...itute-haem02/32465/
Artificial human blood substitute could help meet donor blood shortfall [Inyuki, Jun 12 2014]


       Brain tissue is definitely the most vulnerable to oxygen deprivation, but if the heart, lungs, and digestive tract aren't kept alive, the brain won't live long.
MechE, Oct 01 2012

       Is there something like artificial blood, or ways to replenish blood indefinitely? All what head needs to survive is blood, isn't it?
Inyuki, Oct 01 2012

       // Is there something like artificial blood, //   


       // or ways to replenish blood indefinitely? //   

       No. Technically, yes, but not WKTE.   

       // All what head needs to survive is blood, isn't it? //   

       Sort of. Somebody with a formal medical background can undoubtedly explain it better than I can, but without the neuro-feedback of the body, the brain suffers in a variety of ways. It's all evolved to work as a complete system. Removing a component disables the whole thing, not just the function for which that component is responsible.
Alterother, Oct 01 2012

       I have thought about this and i think it's possible, but i don't know where you go from there. You might preserve a conscious brain but you need to do something about a body quite quickly and i'm not sure that what really counts as a person, by which i mean their actual consciousness, is really only dependent on the brain.
nineteenthly, Oct 01 2012

       // i think it's possible, but i don't know where you go from there //   

       The nerve endings could be assembled into a matrix, and be open to all kinds of stimulation-response experiments with computers.
Inyuki, Oct 01 2012

       //without the neuro-feedback of the body, the brain suffers in a variety of ways//   

       What about high-level paraplegics? Do they have any input/output below the neck? Also, people with "locked in" syndrome seem to survive though, again, I don't know what level of inputs they have from their body. Also Stephen Hawking seems to manage OK (but again - does he have sensory loss or only motor?).   

       The thing is, though, under what circumstances would you use this? It might be viable in the event of a traumatic body injury that spared the head. Or in the case of a heart attack; but in the latter case, it would be simpler to maintain circulation (perhaps by suitable pressure-pulsing- pants) and ventilate the lungs.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2012

       As I said, my recall understanding of brain/body interdependence is limited to the statements I've already made; to illuminate further, I'd have to spend all day digging through unlabeled boxes in search of two or three dry, boring books that I haven't seen, much less read, in several years (thus the invitation for better-informed others to pick up the thread). It's one of those cases wherein [The Alterother] read something a long time ago and only absorbed the basic gist of it, and is now spouting off like an expert. I don't exactly know what I'm talking about, but I do know that I'm not making it up.
Alterother, Oct 01 2012

       Thinking a little further on the idea, it's probably better to make the device pump powerful enough to push blood through the entire body. Then it just installs into a single artery (ideally the aortic arch, but you could probably use carotoid or femoral) and pulls the blood out, oxygenates it, and returns it. This keeps at least partially oxygenated blood flowing through the entire system.   

       As a practical matter, it's probably not that simple, but they do something very similar when you donate red blood cells or platelets.
MechE, Oct 01 2012

       This one creeps me out a little. What if the rest of my organs die while my brain is still alive? Now I still die, except in a much more painful/drawn out way. If CPR won't work and someone needs this device they are probably going to die anyway.
DIYMatt, Oct 01 2012

       For the creepy, creepy record this can be done BTW. The Russians used to preserve living dog heads. IT got made into an X-Files movie.
DIYMatt, Oct 01 2012

       It's widely baked-in-fiction. The first example that came to mind was a character in a John Varley novel, but then I remembered the X-Files movie as well. I didn't know the Russians had actually done it, though it hardly surprises me.
Alterother, Oct 01 2012

       //it's probably better to make the device pump powerful enough to push blood through the entire body.// D'oh - if only I'd thought of that.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2012

       //high-level paraplegics ... people with "locked in" syndrome//   

       You're probably thinking here of people who've had the neural connections between body and brain severed ... but there's stuff that happens through the bloodstream, too.   

       //a handy pump that works to suck out the blood from the body into a container with specialized walls of very high surface area to let the oxygen in carbon dioxide out, and circulate the 5 liters of human's own blood dedicatedly through the brain//   

       By the same token, you're focusing on the blood, and ignoring the nerves.   

       //It's all evolved to work as a complete system.//
Wrongfellow, Oct 01 2012

       We should try to find out if Mike The Headless Chicken's head lived as long and satisfying a life as Mike The Headless Chicken did.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2012

       [MaxwellBuchanan], I agree entirely that living without one's body is not what most of us want, but I don't think it's a good excuse for a suicide.
Inyuki, Oct 01 2012

       The head alone would lack: An immune system, a way to replenish blood (both due to no/minimal bone marrow), 4-5 of 7 parts of the endocrine system (thymus, pancreas, adrenal glands, genitals, and possibly thyroid depending), and I'm sure many others I'm missing.   

       While it is probably possible, in theory, to balance all of those through external systems, as well as to provide required nerve impulses, we don't have the technology yet.
MechE, Oct 01 2012

       //we don't have the technology yet//   

       And even if we did, it would cost considerably more than 6 Million Dollars.
AusCan531, Oct 01 2012

       //The Russians used to preserve living dog heads.//   

       Monkey head swap. [link]   

       So, the head swap works.
All we'd need is the precious liquid.
I guess that's an easier probelm, and the results would be seen immediately, as compared to cryonics.
Inyuki, Oct 01 2012

       I think in summary - all the head needs to survive is blood - but getting blood right is problematic.   

       After all, if there existed even a half-decent synthetic blood substitute there would be very little need for blood donation.   

       In the short term perhaps yes the patient's own blood can be recycled. But unless the plan is to cryopreserve the head ASAP there's not really much of a future for it[1].
And if the plan *is* to cryopreserve the head - well, it would probably be easier to have a machine to do that straight away instead.

       I don't think any such head transfer is an obvious target for comoditisation. If a team of humans plus unrestricted equipment in hospital wouldn't take it on.   

       [1] Some may suspect - not even then.
Loris, Oct 02 2012

       Robo-GROG... I like it. Sign me up. [+]
Grogster, Oct 02 2012

       If you had your clone, you could agree upon the blood supply to each other, in case one of you has a failing organism.
Also, I wonder, how long can one's own blood be stored, and how much of it could one accumulate.
Inyuki, Feb 23 2013

       //under what circumstances would you use this?//   

       The marketing department suggests the tricoteuse demographic.
pertinax, Jun 12 2014

       I almost want to say [MFD] <magic>, because the idea doesn't offer much explanation about how this is done. I didn't watch the dog video, but I have watched other videos of surgeries on major blood vessels and it's not as simple as "cut the artery and attach a tube to it." Just finding an artery, even a major one such as the carotid, would be a chance in a million for an unskilled person. I think the likelihood of a device being able to find and fix arteries on the fly, outside of an operating room, is approximately zero.   

       Besides that, we have the issue mentioned by everyone else that if the body is too badly damaged even for CPR to help then what is left to save? Nobody wants to live as just a brain. Not to mention, think of the resources that will be spent trying to save someone who is clearly a lost cause. I think we do enough of that as it is.
DIYMatt, Jun 12 2014

       //Nobody wants to live as just a brain.//   

       Speak for yourself.   

       //clearly a lost cause.//   

       Not so clear at all.
Voice, Jun 12 2014

       There's a Roald Dahl story about this.
pertinax, Jun 13 2014


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