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Show 1048: How to Revive the Recently Dead

Show 1048: How to Revive the Recently Dead

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For millennia, when a person stopped breathing, they stopped living. The classic test for determining whether people were asleep or dead was whether they could fog a mirror held to their mouth.

Resuscitating the Drowned:

In the eighteenth century, the citizens of Amsterdam became alarmed at the number of residents perishing by drowning in the canals. They started a Society for the Favor of Drowned Persons that experimented with some interesting techniques to try to resuscitate the drowned.

David Casarett, MD, reviews the history of resuscitation medicine with us and brings us to current advances in rescuing people who have suffered heart attacks or other potentially lethal catastrophes as well as drowning. What questions should we be asking as science makes it increasingly possible to revive the recently dead?

This Week's Guest:

David Casarett, MD, MA, is a palliative care physician and health services researcher whose work focuses on improving systems of care for people with serious, life-threatening illnesses. He recently relocated from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a tenured professor of medicine to the Duke University School of Medicine as Chief of Palliative Care.

Dr. Casarett is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the US government to researchers in the early stages of their careers. He has also written three non-fiction books, including Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead (2014). His first novel in the Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency series, Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness, will be published in September 2016. 

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