In a medical emergency, getting a patient oxygen can be a matter of life and death.
But thanks to an invention by a team of researchers at Boston's Children Hospital, the medical community may have a quick fix for such circumstances: a particle that lets humans to live without breathing, the hospital notes.
The report states the "microparticles" are made of a single layer of fatty molecules, or lipids, that surround pockets of oxygen gas and are inserted into the bloodstream via a liquid solution.
Dr. John Kheir of the hospital's Department of Cardiology clarified that in a "real world scenario" where an animal had a totally congested airway, the particles were able to keep it alive for 15 minutes without breathing, according to the hospital.
“I was taking care of a cute redhead girl in ICU who had severe pneumonia,” Kheir told FoxNews.com. “She didn’t have a breathing tube at the time, and all of a sudden she had a pulmonary hemorrhage – when lung tissue gets damaged and in fact erodes into the pulmonary arteries. Her lungs filled up with blood and she went into cardiac arrest."
Since it took about 25 minutes to get rid of the blood from her lungs, the girl's brain was deprived of oxygen and was "severely injured," according to the report.
Kheir also told the network that the drug has the potential to save many lives in emergency circumstances, such as drowning.
“Our vision for this is that this drug would be stored on emergency carts all over the hospital and even outside the hospital in an ambulance," he said, according to FoxNews.com. "Any time a patient is really, really sick for any reason, whoever is taking care of them could save them with a standard intravenous line. The primary reason that patients have a cardiac arrest is for inhalation reasons. There’s a serious potential to improve the mortality and morbidity rate of patients in the hospital.”
As Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz notes, the potential uses are endless—maybe even as an "emergency shot" in space.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook