About this work
'Superhuman' is a 5-part series presented by Prof. Robert Winston. It studies the way the human body withstands trauma, infection and cancer and copes with transplants and assisted reproductive technology. 'Trauma' contains a detailed study of the effects of a car crash on the human body, with film of surgical scenes, scans and endoscopies. The work of the rescue team and the hospital trauma team is explained and Prof. Jim Ryan, trauma surgeon, discusses the lessons learned from warfare in treating injuries. An important development from the Falklands War was the discovery that cold assists survival by slowing the body's reactions. With so much available in the way of medical technology it is often forgotten that the body has a capacity for healing itself. In the experience of some surgeons, patients with severe injuries benefit from receiving, initially, the minimum treatment necessary to preserve life. The ability to withstand trauma varies from one individual to another; if the body over-reacts to trauma the result is that huge numbers of immune cells are released, blocking normal bloodflow and resulting in death. The drug lucarest is being investigated as a means of preventing this reaction.
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