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Breathing Perfluorocarbon Liquid

  1. Apr 23, 2003 #1
    I watched the movie "The Abyss" last night and was very intriged by the scene where harris puts on the experimental underwater breathing unit. I did some research and it seems it's actually possible to take in a liquid called Perfluorocarbon. Research was done in the 60's and scientists actually got mice and cats to live for weeks while their lungs were full of this liquid. Does anyone know about the current development of this technology?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2003 #2
    They'll still working on something similar. The idea is that it can help treat people with lung damage from smoke inhalation, or what have you. The problem is that people with weakened respiration systems have trouble breathing the muck. Still under condsideration the last I heard.
  4. Apr 24, 2003 #3
    It's been a long time since I read this so I have no idea where to look to find it again, but I know of at least one case where it was used in humans. Some girl nearly drowned and a lot of sand and silt got into her lungs so even after getting her to the hospital and on a respirator her lungs started to collapse. The positive pressure from the machine would have caused too much damage to her already failing lungs over the next several days so they tried filling them with a perfluorocarbon liquid and using a pump to circulate it. It actually kept her lungs from completely collapsing while causing little damage and the circulation carried out most of the debris.
  5. Apr 28, 2003 #4
    Hmm, now that i think of it, I remember that scene in the abyss. Also, one in "Mission to Mars", ...

    What makes up Perfluorocarbon, Element-wise? Carbon, Fluoride (?), perhaps oxygen??
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