Lungs can't breathe water, but there are oxygen carrying liquids that have been used for sometime. This is not news, it has been in development for
Unfortunatedly you always find even phds that are not up to date with new findings in science, or everything there is to know about their field of
"LiquiVent is a biologically inert, oxygen-carrying liquid that is administered directly into the lungs of patients undergoing mechanical
ventilation. It is intended for use in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which affects patients of all ages."
Excerpt taken from.
"LiquiVent® is a perfluorochemical called "perflubron." It is a clear, colorless, odorless, oily liquid that looks and flows like water, but is
about twice as dense. It has a high capacity to dissolve gases, and therefore can transport oxygen to the alveoli of the lungs and remove carbon
dioxide. LiquiVent is not broken down in the body, so there is no production of toxic metabolites. It has unique physical properties that make it an
excellent candidate for delivery of drugs directly into the lungs."
Excerpt taken from.
"The concept of fluid breathing began in the mid '60s when Dr. J. Kylstra, a physiologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo, realized
that salt solutions could be saturated with oxygen at high pressures. Working in a US Navy recompression chamber, Kylstra performed an experiment to
see if mice would be able to move the saline solution in and out of their lungs, while extracting enough oxygen from the fluid to be able to survive.
While the mice and rats were able to breathe the liquid (he was able to keep the animals alive for up to 18 hours), carbon dioxide was not removed
fast enough from the system, and quickly built up to near-toxic levels. Clearly, this problem was going to be the stumbling block before the procedure
could be used in humans. He concluded his experiments by saying "In human underwater activities, liquid breathing will be possible only if the
untoward effects of carbon dioxide retention can be minimized effectively."
"A floor-mounted 3-litre reservoir was filled with the perfluorocarbon and the fluid was driven by a pump through a series of machines which warmed,
oxygenated, and stripped the fluid of carbon dioxide. Flowing through a tube, the fluid entered a 3-way pneumatic valve which directed flow to the
animal. A computer controlled the inspiration (18 mL of fluid per second), pumping the liquid into the animal's lungs, then back out again to the
reservoir, where the cycle continued at a rate of about 6 complete respirations per minute.
At the conclusion of the test, the animal was tilted for about 15 seconds and the perfluorocarbon was allowed to drain from the lungs (much like
Ensign Monk drained the fluid out of the rat's lungs in the movie. Editor's Note: Yes, the rat did actually breathe the liquid in that scene!).
[Editor's note: thanks to Jean Smith for pointing out that this was in fact a "Sprague Dawley rat, to be exact, otherwise known as an albino lab
The liquid ventilation tests of the early '90s proved to be successful: dogs could be kept alive in the perfluorcarbon medium for about 2 hours;
after removal the dogs were usually slightly hypoxic, but returned to normal after a few days. When the animals were autopsied, the typical findings
were mild edema and some hemorrhaging, clearly an improvement over the pulmonary damage of earlier tests. The procedure was ready for human subjects.
Liquid breathing began to be used by the medical community after the development by Alliance Pharmaceuticals of perfluorooctyl bromide, a
fluorochemical that was given the generic name perflubron. Useful as a blood substitute (see Miscellaneous Notes) and for liquid ventilation,
perflubron (under Alliance Pharmaceutical's brand name LiquiVent) is instilled directly into the lungs of patients with acute respiratory failure
(caused by infection, severe burns, inhalation of toxic substances and premature birth), whose air sacs have collapsed. Once inside the lungs,
perflubron enables collapsed alveoli (air sacs) to open and permits a more efficient transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Current tests are
focussing on "preemies," but trials with adults are ongoing. "
Excerpts taken from.
" And the truth is that liquid fluorocarbons are indeed being
evaluated for all kinds of liquid breathing uses. Those with the
proper weight and range of boiling points look like water (no
opalescense) and are used as the pure stuff. They are about twice as
dense as water, and do not mix with anything. In clinical trials with
people on ventilators, these fluorocarbons are poured directly down the
ventilator tube. The patient's lungs are not filled entirely up,
ordinarily, but it would be perfectly possible to do this without harm
(we at our lab have done this many times with dogs, which have survived
without problem when this was the only procedure). In the future, you
will indeed see these things for diving applications, because with
liquid it's possible to control the partial pressure of *all* gases, so
that *none* is high, even at huge total pressures. At great depth,
even high pressure helium causes embolus problems when pressures are
changed rapidly, and with liquid breathing some of these can be
avoided. I'm not aware that liquid-breathing has ever been tried on a
human free-dive, but it's only a matter of time until somebody does it.
As we speak, there are dozens of people breathing liquid on ventilators
in phase III trials, in ICUs.
Steve Harris, M.D."
This is from 1996 and this is the link.
[Edited on 15-4-2004 by Muaddib]