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October 30, 2017

The Science of Reconnecting Severed Body Parts (Dr. Frankenstein would be proud)

Dr. Henry Frankenstein was quite ahead of his time…his whole notion of making a living being out of the parts of cadavers…we’re not quite there yet, but there are amazing advances that have been made in terms of fingers being reconnected…arms or legs being reattached…eyes being used to make a person see again…faces being ‘made’ or replaced…why there is even talk of a head being attached to a different body and they say even such a thing like that is not far away…that brings us to reattaching body parts that have accidentally been severed…medical personnel have said a severed body part should be sealed in a plastic bag and placed on ice…any direct contact with ice can cause frostbite and damage the very tissue you are trying to save…of course not all body parts are the same…muscle usually has a faster metabolism, hence a severed arm or leg will deteriorate quicker than a finger…in the movie ‘House of Frankenstein’, Boris Karloff who plays a doctor speaks of tissue deterioration after the monster is melted out of an ice block…of course I would guess that the monster would have had some form of frostbite being frozen, but…usually full limbs must be reattached within somewhere between 5-10 hours…cartilage on the other hand has a slow metabolism, so severed ears or a severed nose can last longer…the first step when one is reattaching a body part (don’t try this at home) is to reconnect the arteries so that blood can flow to the reattached part…for such a procedure to work properly, the severed tissue must still be alive (ITS ALIVE! ITS ALIVE!), and the severed arteries must be large enough to lend themselves to the use of micro-surgical techniques…of course the veins must be reattached…I bet you didn’t know that when veins can’t be sewn up right away, they use live leeches…they have something in their saliva that prevents blood from clotting and lets the blood continue to flow…obviously, the cleaner the cut, the easier (if that’s the word) the operation…even then, nothing is a sure thing, but it is amazing that such things can be attempted and do work.