Canadian researcher Joseph Fisher, an anesthesiologist at the Toronto Hospital Research Institute, has developed a new way to quickly remove alcohol from the blood of emergency patients. To do this, he used a device of his own design ClearMate, designed to safely hyperventilate the lungs. Together with colleagues, Fischer founded Thornhill Medical to promote ClearMate to the masses.
Initially, the device was created as part of the study of the very idea of whether it is possible to make hyperventilation of the lungs safe for humans. This is a very effective way of cleaning the lungs of harmful gases, including ethanol fumes, but the human body cannot withstand even two minutes of such therapy. The reason is that if carbon dioxide is removed from the blood too quickly, there is nothing to quickly replace it with, and the body falls into a dangerous state – hypocapnia. Fischer managed to solve this problem by pumping a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide through his lungs.
The inventor himself wonders why neither he nor anyone else had such an idea many years ago. ClearMate is a low-tech device, extremely cheap, it can be made in any workshop and used without restrictions. In 2019, the FDA approved a device for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, the effectiveness of which has been confirmed by clinical studies. Getting rid of drunkenness was the next step in the development of technology.
The first experiments showed that although hyperventilation is not a panacea, it three times accelerates the removal of alcohol from the blood of patients. The process is not instantaneous and not too pleasant, but it will greatly help ambulance doctors who often have to deal with alcohol poisoning. In particular, with the help of intensive hyperventilation, it is possible in just 30-40 minutes to reduce the concentration of alcohol in the patient’s blood below the lethal level, in order to work with him in calmer conditions.