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Brought back to life: man was 40 minutes without a pulse
Hard to believe: In the United States, a man survived 40 minutes without a pulse. The 36-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest, but was then lucky: two policemen started resuscitation measures soon after the stoppage and took almost three quarters of an hour with the heart-lung massage.
More than 40 minutes without a pulse
In Germany, around 75,000 people are resuscitated every year after cardiac arrest, but only around 5,000 of them survive. In some cases, this is because the help comes too late. Every minute counts in a cardiac arrest. An American has experienced this first hand. The man had no pulse for over 40 minutes and survived thanks to the first aid of two police officers.
Cardiac arrest while working
Cardiac arrest is usually thought of as older people, but young people are also affected.
So also the 36-year-old John Ogburn from the US state of North Carolina. The man had had a cardiac arrest while working on his laptop in a restaurant, according to a BBC report.
His heart hadn't beat for nearly three quarters of an hour, but he survived thanks to two police officers who happened to be nearby.
Severe damage without quick help
Laypeople are often afraid to carry out a resuscitation because they fear to do something wrong. But the only mistake they can make is to do nothing, my experts say.
A cardiac massage is the only way to supply the heart and organs with oxygen. With every second of lack of oxygen, the brain is at risk of further damage.
Police officers should be familiar with first aid. This saved John Ogburn's life. According to the BBC, two officers had started resuscitation just seconds after the emergency call.
According to the information, Lawrence Guiler and Niko Bajic alternated a total of 42 minutes with the heart-lung massage - until the pulse came back from Ogburn.
Two police officers and an unknown helper
Their use is all the more commendable because, according to the “BBC”, rescue workers only have to carry out resuscitation measures for up to 20 minutes.
But thanks also go to another person. According to a report in the newspaper "Charlotte Observer" that the resuscitation was helped by a woman who was in the restaurant.
According to the police, she identified herself as a nurse who wanted to help, "and that's what she definitely did," said Guiler. "She didn't do chest compressions, but she helped me try to monitor his pulse to see if it started again."
According to Bajic, they did not know the woman's name.
The family also thanked them. "I got goose bumps all over when I saw him and his wife and how happy they are, and we met his parents and they couldn't stop thanking us for saving their son's life," Bajic said according to a report by the British "Daily Mail".
It was very emotional when they realized that they actually did: "The whole life of these people was affected by what we did."
Make the most of your second chance in life
After first aid, the patient was taken to the hospital, where he was put in an artificial coma for the rest of the week to recover.
Among other things, he was advised not to drive for six months, but overall he feels quite good, said Ogburn of the "BBC", apart from the chest pain.
"My energy level is not what it was before, but that could be because my routine has changed a bit," said the 36-year-old.
The combination of chest compression and internal defibrillator is a bit painful, "but if that's all I can complain about, I'm really fine," said Ogburn.
He explained that he was still trying to figure out how to make the most of his second chance in life.
He felt obliged to his lifeguards, above all because they did more than the duty required. "I am so thankful for what you did."
Double or triple chances of survival
Michael Kurz, professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, said in the “BBC” report:
"We have evidence that every minute that a person's heart is not beating and that a proper heart-lung massage is not carried out reduces the chance of survival by ten percent."
According to the expert, the 20-minute rule for paramedics should be reconsidered. "An immediate heart-lung massage can double or triple the survival chances of cardiac arrest," said Kurz.
"Most workers in the United States are not prepared to treat heart emergencies and that has to change." (Ad)