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'Hibernation-On-Demand' Drug Hydrogen Sulfide Significantly Improves Survival After Extreme Blood Loss
Date:7/1/2008

ave tremendous implications for the civilian population."

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Defense Services Office funded the research. The ultimate goal: designing self-injectable hydrogen-sulfide kits that critically injured soldiers could use in the field to temporarily dim their metabolism and reduce their oxygen demand. This would help "buy time" until they could get medical attention.

"The military feels that if a soldier can be kept alive for at least three hours, that would allow time for the situation to be stabilized and the scene of the incident secured enough to allow evacuation of that soldier to an area where he or she can get medical attention," Roth said.

Roth's study, which attempted to mimic a similar scenario, involved 56 rats, each of which underwent controlled hemorrhage to remove 60 percent of their blood for three hours before re-infusion with Lactated Ringer's solution to replace lost blood volume.

The rats were divided into two groups. In the first group, 24 rats were put into a controlled atmosphere of room air laced with 300 parts per million H2S while 13 served as controls. The H2S was administered about 20 minutes after initiation of blood removal and was supplied for about 20 minutes, until the end of the bleed. In the second group, 12 rats received a single intravenous dose of sulfide solution about 20 minutes after the initiation of blood removal while seven served as controls.

In both test groups, the rats maintained a reduced yet stable level of carbon-dioxide production, a surrogate measure of metabolism. Once H2S was removed, metabolic rates returned to normal. In contrast, the untreated animals steadily grew metabolically weaker from blood loss until the point of death.

Functional and behavioral testing among the long-term survivors (those that lived more than two weeks after hemorrhage) showed no observable defects. In fact, the rodents that were bred produ
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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