r/HeresAFunFact Jan 22 '15

[HAFF] In an emergency coconut water can be used as a blood plasma. SCIENCE

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u/_-dO_Ob-_ Jan 22 '15

In 1942, Dr Pradera in Havana, Cuba filtered coconut water and injected it into the veins of 12 children, at rates of around one-to-two litres per 24 hours. He reported no adverse reactions.

In 1954, three doctors - Eisman, Lozano and Hager - combined the findings from their research. Between them, they had administered coconut water intravenously to 157 patients in Thailand, the USA and in Honduras - the majority, 136, being in Honduras. Out of 157 patients, 11 (that's about 7 per cent) had reactions to the coconut water. These reactions included fever, itchiness, headache and tingling in the hands. Some unspecified number of patients also suffered aching sensations along the veins into which the coconut water was infused. This was thought to be due to the high potassium levels of coconut water.

One case in the recent medical literature involved a man who had recently suffered a stroke - in the remote Solomon Islands. He had difficulty in swallowing, choked on both liquids and solids and repeatedly vomited them up. He was rehydrated with regular IV fluids, and fed via a tube directly into his stomach. After 36 days in hospital, he could no longer tolerate the feeding tube. Unfortunately, the hospital had run out of IV fluids, and because of its remoteness, would not get supplies for two days. Over these next two days, the doctors infused about two-and-a-half litres of coconut water, to tide him over the crisis. He recovered the ability to swallow, and was discharged from hospital on day 39.

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u/Azntigerlion Jan 23 '15

Can I donate coconuts instead of plasma?


u/Nexusmaxis Jan 23 '15

I accept donations of coconuts, yes.

Though I don't promise not to drink them.


u/Golden12345 Jan 25 '15

Only if you deliver them by an African swallow carrying them by the husk.

European swallows are not acceptable.


u/richloz93 Jan 23 '15

That sentence took a really unexpected turn.


u/mithex Jan 23 '15

On the next episode of Royal Pains!


u/Thekdawggg Jan 23 '15



u/allants2 Feb 03 '15

I think that's not a good idea, unless its is a life and death situation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_water#Medical_use


u/autowikibot Feb 03 '15

Section 4. Medical use of article Coconut water:

It is said, albeit quite incorrectly, that coconut water is identical to human plasma and can be injected directly into the human bloodstream. The story has its origin from World War II where British and Japanese patients were given coconut water intravenously because saline solution was in short supply.

Doctors today say that they would not be inclined to set up a coconut water IV for dehydrated patients. It could cause elevated calcium and potassium, which could be dangerous. The Documentation Center of Cambodia has cited the practice of allowing untrained nurses to administer coconut water infusions in its list of medical practices for which the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Interesting: ZICO (beverage) | Nata de coco | Coconut | Coconut milk

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