Breathing liquid revisited 
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 Breathing liquid revisited

Hi,
        A few weeks ago I asked for information about using liquid in a
breathing apparatus to deliver oxygen to the lungs while diving.  The idea
which I saw in the movie the Abyss is to take an oxygen enriched liquid into
your lungs while diving to prevent lung compression and thus the bends.
The following is a summary of the (positive) responces to this.  I leave out
the two or three submissions I got saying it was impossible since there are
some people who claim it has been done.  Thanks to all who wrote to me even it
your name doesn't appear here.

                                        Russell Owen

----------------------------

It isn't all fiction. Back in the early 60s a pulmonary physiologist by
the name of Johannes Kylstra developed a method to make animals breath
water. Not some mystery fluid, not that freon liquid stuff -- water. His
name is searchable on Medline if you want specific information. I also
have a Popular Science from April, 1963 that briefly describes his work.
I know this because I went to school with his son Jan in Buffalo. His
dad worked with my dad at SUNYAB. Once, after spending an afternoon
playing with Jan and his german shepherd (I must have been in the 1st or
2nd grade at the time), my dad told me that I was playing with a very
famous dog. Took me years to find out it was the first to survive water
breathing.

----------------------------

I saw a demo on some science show that involved a mouse and a fish
tank full of O2 enriched fluid.

The mouse was placed in the tank and held under. I could breath just
fine.

The only problem was that the lungs of the mouse could not be
asparated fast enough, when the mouse was removed from the fluid, to
prevent it from suffocating.

----------------------------

I have seen journal articles in the last 60 days that report that some
researchers have successfully used a flourocarbon liquid to save lives
of some premature infants.  Apparently, the compound used has amazing
oxygen-carrying properties.  Using the liquid over gaseous O2 prevents
blindness of the sort that occurs from prolonged exposure to pure O2.

Results were promising, so this technique may come into further use.
It's not clear how applicatble this may be to {*filter*}s, who are used to
breathing gases -- preemies are used to having water in their lungs.

So this scene is a reasonable extrapolation based on state-of-the-art
research.  I doubt it's doable today.

----------------------------

I don't know much about it, but there was research being done a while back
on a substitute for {*filter*}, in which the liquid could hold so much oxygen
that mice could live while submerged.  I have seen news reports showing
the mice getting along fine in the liquid.  I sincerely doubt that any
human has tried this.

Anybody know the name of the liquid?

----------------------------

The mouse experiment shown in the movie is fairly well known.
The issue of "Science" which arrived in my mailbox last week
reports on the 1st human experiment.  Supposedly there is
potential medical application to certain patients with lung
damage and premie's.

Russell
--




Disclaimer:  My opinions are unlikely to spark controversy



Fri, 19 Mar 1993 23:05:00 GMT
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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