a reply to: Heruactic
It's a lot simpler to get the heart going again. Or lacking that in the short term, to move blood by good quality chest compressions and a
Why. Well, there's a lot of reasons. But consider how that circulation works. First, any vessel that's carrying blood away from the heart is an
artery. Vessels carrying blood back to the heart are veins.
Now, you don't have one vein carrying blood to the brain. You don't have any at all - it would be an artery. But there are multiple arteries carrying
blood to the brain. If you were trying to do this, you'd probably want to perfuse them all, but lets say you just take the two biggest ones - the left
and right common carotids.
So, your guy is down and not breathing and has no heart beat. You've got just about a minute to:
1) find both common carotids
2) insert an introducer into each
3) use a dilator to open the artery
4) do a small cutdown on the skin
5) insert a balloon catheter into the artery and inflate it to keep the blood going to the head and not back the other way
6) do this on both arteries
7) hook pressure tubing to your device.
8) prime the pump and tubing with blood of the correct type - where you'll get that is a question.
9) you've got to return the blood to the venous system, so now do a central line insert
And all that will take about 30 minutes. The guy's dead.
Even if you got it going, you've got no oxygenation or CO2 removal. Just a pump. So you need a membrane oxygenator, called an ECMO. It's about the
size of a refrigerator. And you'll need to do ABGs every few minutes to keep it calibrated.
Let's say you got all that done. In the meantime, while you were perfusing his brain, his spinal cord died. So he's a paraplegic. And his kidneys died
a few minutes later, so he's on dialysis. Etc.
In the end, it's a lot easier to get him jump started on his internal systems.
eta: you're also doing all this in extremely unsterile conditions in poor lighting, if it's in the field. So the guy's going to have some godawful
infections to boot...oh, and you're going to start getting widespread systemic clotting in a few minutes, so even if you restart him, he's pretty much
nothing but a big blood clot in all his blood vessels. Nothing's going to work ever again.
edit on 4-12-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason