Dolphins inspire emergency medicine

Health 19 July, 2017

Published the 19.07.2017 to 16h31


Keywords :


In an emergency situation, the medical services on the ground do not always have sufficient hardware to deal with serious injuries, during car accidents or on the grounds of military operation, for example. Their mission can be summed up in general to stabilize the patient until his arrival at the hospital, where he will be cared for.

All the tricks are welcome. A team from the university of Buffalo (Usa) has found that by placing a simple bag of ice water on the forehead, the eyes and the cheekbones of a patient’s hemorrhagic, it was possible to limit the fall in blood pressure.

“We need to understand how we can prolong the survival in case of loss of blood severe,” says Zachary Schlader, the lead author of the study. And it all boils down often to maintain the blood pressure. The faster you lose blood, the more you compromise your chances of achieving them. “

Credit : Douglas Levere/University at Buffalo


Reflex immersion

The idea seems almost to simplistic to be effective, but it relies on a reflex physiological : it is by watching the seals and dolphins that the researchers have decided to test this method. These mammals have in common a ” reflex immersion “, which is triggered when the upper face is in contact with cold water (at 20 °C maximum), that is to say, when they begin to dive.

This reflex is manifested by a slowing of the heart rate, and a contraction of the peripheral blood vessels. It is particularly strong in seals, of which the heart rate falls, for example, from 125 to 10 beats per minute. Vasoconstriction also helps to flow the blood towards the heart and brain, now and in the life of the organs priority, and thus extending the capabilities of apnea.