Victims of violent crime and road accidents could be 'brought back from the dead' with a pioneering new treatment.
Surgeons often only have minutes to save patients who have sustained gunshot, knife or car crash wounds.
But scientists said doctors could gain extra time to operate by pumping ice-cold fluid into a patient's veins.
The huge drop in body temperature slows the dying process and stops the brain from shutting down before the heart stops beating.
Research leader Dr Hasan Alam, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, claims the procedure could save 90 per cent of patients with fatal wounds.
He said: 'By cooling them rapidly in this fashion, we can convert that almost-certain death into almost-certain survival.
'We're talking about 90 per cent-plus survival with normal cognitive function, normal brain activity, normal organ function. It's challenging but it's doable.'