August 23, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Dolphin Trick Could Save Lives

When trauma hits, do what the dolphins do: cool the face and eyes.

Science Daily says that dolphins inspired a potentially life-saving method for treating trauma patients. For first aid, “place a bag of ice on the victim’s forehead, eyes and cheeks.” Where do dolphins come in?

Mammals like seals and dolphins — and, to a much lesser extent, humans — have what’s called the “mammalian diving reflex.” It’s a physiological function that the animals employ for submersion in water.

During the reflex, which is partially activated when the face is immersed in cold water, certain bodily functions temporarily change to conserve oxygen, allowing the animals to remain underwater for long periods of time….

Researchers thought that cooling the face this way could invoke the automatic diving reflex. “And we thought, what if we can use that reflex to help bump up blood pressure during a hemorrhagic injury?” Johnson, PhD, said.

Previous methods have not proven as effective for military or civilian applications, the article concludes. Now if they can just find ice water in Afghanistan….

 

 

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