Can Mammals Breathe Through Their Anus In An Emergency? Japanese Scientists say YES!

  • A team of Japanese scientists at Tokyo Medical and Dental University has shown that it is possible for mammals to absorb oxygen via the anus.
  • They also say that the finding may apply to humans who are in respiratory distress when ventilators are not available or inadequate.
  • “The rectum has a mesh of fine blood vessels just beneath the surface of its lining, which means that drugs administered through the anus are readily absorbed into the bloodstream,” lead author Ryo Okabe said.

Agence France-Press from Rawstory writes:

“A team of Japanese scientists has shown it is possible for mammals to absorb oxygen via the anus.

Intrigued by how certain sea creatures breathe through their intestines in emergencies, researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University were able to prove the same was true under experimental circumstances for mice, rats and pigs, publishing their findings in the journal Med on Friday.

They say the finding might also apply to humans who are in respiratory distress when ventilators are not available or inadequate.

For higher order animals, respiration involves breathing in oxygen and excreting carbon dioxide using lungs or gills.

Some species however have evolved alternate ventilatory mechanisms. Loaches, catfish, sea cucumbers and orb-weaving spiders can also use their hindgut to oxygenate to survive in emergencies.

This is called enteral ventilation via anus, or EVA.

“The rectum has a mesh of fine blood vessels just beneath the surface of its lining, which means that drugs administered through the anus are readily absorbed into the bloodstream,” lead author Ryo Okabe said.

This made the team wonder whether oxygen could be delivered into the bloodstream in the same way.

To answer the question, they decided to carry out experiments on oxygen-deprived mice, pigs and rats using two methods: delivering the oxygen into the rectum in gas form, and infusing an oxygen-rich enema via the same route…”

See full story here.



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