Never say die! Docs defy death to revive man clinically dead

MUMBAI: In a rare medical feat, doctors miraculously snatched 41-year-old Sardar Sanjeet Singh, back from death, after he had been clinically dead for 90 long minutes following a heart attack. He was revived with continued cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) given to him manually about 100 times at the Mahatma Gandhi Mission (MGM) Charitable Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in India. 

Medical experts said his rare revival was possible because of his age and general health and also because of the never-say-die attitude of his doctors who didn't give up. Singh was also lucky to get immediate medical attention as he is himself an x-ray technician at the MGM Hospital and suffered a cardiac arrest on hospital premises.

According to Times of India, the incident occurred on Feb 2nd 2014, when Sardar Sanjeet Singh complained of chest pain, giddiness and sweating while on duty at the medical institution. Doctors found he had suffered a heart attack. His heart rate and blood pressure had dropped when he was admitted to the casualty ward. A while later, his heart beat stopped entirely. Prashant Udgire, intervention cardiologist with MGM said, "On examination, we found he had no pulse or heart beat. He was clinically dead and the ECG monitor showed single straight lines indicating there was no heart activity." 

Singh was instantly put on mechanical ventilation and a temporary pacer was inserted to start his heart beat. Since there was no heart activity, doctors started manual CPR by rotation for about 100 times while simultaneously keeping a watch on the blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. "After a long-drawn effort of 1 hour 30 minutes, the patient's heart started beating again," Udgire said. 

An emergency coronary angiography conducted immediately showed one of the main arteries was totally blocked. The blood clot was removed using a special thrombus extraction device known as export catheter. Subsequently, coronary angioplasty with one stent was performed. 

"Singh regained full consciousness after four days and was taken off the ventilator. Fortunately, he showed remarkable recovery without any neurological damage. This is a rare case of successful revival of a heart attack patient through cardio-pulmonary resuscitation for one-and-half-hours. The recovery was without any neurological deficit," the doctor said. 

Recalling the sequence of events, Singh said, "I had collapsed while on duty. I came to know much later from relatives and friends about the serious condition I was in. I've got a fresh lease of life." 

Independent medical experts opine that such a revival was not impossible. According to Cardiologist Anand Deodhar, doctors were able to diagnose the cardiac condition and begin treatment immediately while maintaining the constant flow of blood and oxygen to brain and vital organs, which saved Singh's life. 

Pravin Suryawanshi, deputy dean and CEO of MGM hospital said, "The brain function ceases in four to six minutes after stoppage of blood supply. CPR gives mechanical pumping to the heart and very good CPR restores adequate blood supply to other organs." 

Former cardiologist at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sudhir Tungikar, observed, "This was a case of witnessed arrest. In such cases, cardiologists should make an effort for more than an hour to revive the patient. They should not give up in 30 minutes, which is the usual practice." 

Dr. Ganesh Kumar, chief interventional cardiologist at L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai said, the fact that Singh suffered a cardiac arrest on the hospital premises played a role in his revival, “When you give CPR and administer the right treatment, patients are known to come around." TRANS ASIA 

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