Patient Breathes After For 45 Minutes Of Heart Stoppage

Dead Man
Dead Man


Though strictly speaking a person is never dead till declared ‘brain-dead’, yet this can very well be counted as a miracle and Jaysukhbhai became the recipient of that miracle recently.

Hailing from Gujarat, the 38-yrs old, who was suf

fering from dilated cardiomyopathy leading to end-stage heart failure, was airlifted from Porbandar and admitted to Fortis Malar Hospital for a possible heart transplant with immediacy.

Post stabilization as he was awaiting a donor heart, he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and became unresponsive.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was immediately administered and despite attempts for over 45 minutes, there was no cardiac contraction. Thought to have entered the vegetative state, a quick decision was taken by a team led by Dr. K R Balakrishnan, Director Cardiac Sciences, to use ECPR and he was put on a portable cardiopulmonary bypass machine, ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenator) while the CPR was being carried out. This therapy involves supporting patient with a portable heart and lung machine and cooling the temperature of the patient down to protect the brain during cardiac arrest. “From a Cardiologist’s point of view ECPR is a wonderful life saving procedure, but under utilized in the cathlabs and coronary care units due to various logistic problems.”Dr Ravikumar, Interventional Cardiologist later noted.

After about 45 minutes of persistence, Jaysukhbhai Thakre’s heart eased up but still for the next 10 days he remained unconscious. Since ECMO cannot be continued indefinitely, an artificial heart pump or Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) called Centrimag was inserted to support him in the interim. When a suitable donor heart became available, he underwent a successful heart transplant.

Dr. K R Balakrishnan, Director, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Centre for Heart Failure and Transplant, at Fortis Malar, said, “Though the procedure was technically difficult and challenging, it is a promising new technology in situations deemed to be uniformly fatal. We have increasingly started using ECPR for “in hospital” cardiac arrest with very good outcomes and are exploring the possibility of extending it to other locations , including outside the hospital, as is done in a few places around the world, like Japan, San Diego and Taiwan.”

The patient having completely recovered and is ready to move to home can once again, as his name means, enjoy the happiness (of life).