Inhaling oxygen through your butt may sound like an insult, but in medical terms, it could be a lifesaving medical innovation.
A joint study by Tokyo Medical University and Tokyo Dental University in Japan shows that mammals can absorb oxygen through their anus during medical emergencies, a finding that could help patients suffering from severe respiratory failure, foreign media reported.
People rely on oxygen to survive, oxygen from the lungs after inhalation oxygen through the capillaries into the blood, by the blood to the body parts of the organs or cells for use. The more oxygen in your blood, the better your metabolism. Most mammals, like humans, use their nose and mouth to get oxygen into the alveoli in their lungs.
However, scientists have found that loaches, catfish and sea cucumbers can absorb oxygen through their backs. So are mammals able to take in oxygen from places other than their snout and mouth?
Researchers at Tokyo Medical University and Tokyo University of Dentistry said the rectum has a small network of blood vessels underneath the endothelium, and studies have shown that drugs can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream when given through the anus. And whether oxygen can be delivered to the blood in the same way.
To do this, the researchers used mice, rats and pigs that were deprived of oxygen. They were then given an enema enriched with oxygen in liquid and gaseous forms.
Both methods were found to be successful in delivering oxygen to the animals' circulatory systems, meaning that under experimental conditions, the mammals were essentially breathing through their buttocks.
The researchers say that while the approach may seem awkward, it could be a life-saving strategy for patients like those facing severe respiratory failure, including those with COVID-19.
Dr. Caleb Kelly, a clinical researcher at Yale University, said it would be a major scientific contribution if the method, known as transanal enteral ventilation, ends up in intensive care units.