Death – Let’s talk about it; there’s more to it than you might think...
Doctors, sworn to defend and protect life and to do no harm, should be a source of strength and support...
Her husband pronounced his wife's salvation 'a miracle'.
Equally miraculous was the case of the Egyptian chauffeur who rose from the dead. In July 1997, Abdel-Sattar Badawi was laid in a coffin and taken to the mortuary of a hospital in Menoufia.
Doctors had declared him dead, but he was in a deep coma, and after 12 hours he woke up. Mr Badawi, then in his 60s, said: 'I shouted for someone to come and rescue me. When no one heard me I started to chant verses from the Koran to seek God's pardon.'
Unable to see anything, he pushed open the lid of the coffin (luckily it had not been screwed down) and found himself surrounded by corpses.
Confused and anxious, he climbed out and continued to shout for help.
Three hospital staff came into the morgue and were confronted by Mr Badawi waving and chanting.
A male nurse collapsed with a heart attack and died from shock. As Mr Badawi left the hospital, he vowed never to return. Who can blame him?
Earlier this year another Egyptian, Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi, a 28-year-old waiter, was declared dead after suffering a heart attack at work.
His relatives took his body home and prepared it for burial in his village of Naga al-Simman in Luxor. However, a doctor sent to sign the death certificate was surprised to find the body was warm. Closer checks revealed Mr al-Nubi had a pulse. He was revived, and the funeral turned into a celebration.
Egypt seems to have suffered its unfair share of animated corpses, but such cases occur the world over.
In April, a Chinese woman aged 95 climbed out of her coffin six days after she 'died'. Li Xiufeng was thought to be dead when a neighbour found her motionless in bed.
She was placed in a coffin at her home so friends and relatives could pay their last respects.
The day before the burial, the neighbour called round to discover the coffin was empty. He was even more stunned to discover the sprightly corpse sitting in the kitchen, cooking a restorative meal.
Steve Moore has compiled some of the more bizarre incidents of resurrection for his book Back From The Dead And 350 Other Stories Of Amazing Luck.
He tells the story of Gerry Allison, whose body was making its way through Los Angeles in a hearse in 1977 when a tyre burst. The hearse careered into the window of a rival funeral parlour.
The doors flew open and the coffin toppled out. Passers-by saw Mr Allison, in a shroud, walk out of the wreckage. Doctors believe the crash brought him out of a deep coma.
Then there was Fagili Mukhametzyanov, who woke up at her funeral last year, and promptly died of shock.
Mrs Mukhametzyanov, 49, had been pronounced dead by doctors in Kazan, Russia, after a heart attack at home.
As relatives filed past her open coffin, she started to scream. She lived for only another 12 minutes before dying — this time permanently. Her case is not untypical. Often patients who come back to life are left with severe brain and organ damage and never recover their health.
Michael Wilkinson, a roofer from Preston, Lancashire, 'died' in hospital in 2009 aged 23 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. But after he was given the last rites, doctors found a pulse. Mr Wilkinson was transferred to intensive care at Royal Preston Hospital, where he survived for two more days.
Lazarus Syndrome is rare. In 2010, a paper in Critical Care Medicine by researchers from McGill University, Montreal, identified 32 reported cases.
All involved the spontaneous revival of apparently dead heart attack patients after attempts to resuscitate them.
The evidence was limited, but enough to convince the authors that more study into the phenomenon was needed.
Some believe it may be caused by the delayed delivery of adrenaline injected to revive a patient after a heart attack.
Another theory is that attempts at resuscitation create a build-up of pressure in the chest. After 'death', the released pressure allows the heart to expand, which somehow kick-starts it.
Other doctors are wary about labelling an unlikely series of events a 'syndrome'. Harley Street consultant cardiologist Duncan Dymond says: 'I have never seen anything like that, and I have been qualified for 40 years.'
Though these events occur only on rare occasions, they raise questions about how long doctors should wait before declaring a patient dead.
Indeed, at a time when controversy is raging around the Liverpool Care Pathway — which allows NHS doctors to stop medication for patients they believe are close to death — such cases should give us pause for thought about the powers of the human body to cling to life.
Until Lazarus Syndrome has been fully explained — or discounted — it may make sense to follow the example of George Washington.
The American president was so concerned about misdiagnosis that he ordered his doctors not to bury him for at least two days after he was declared dead, giving him ample time to effect a dramatic resurrection. Unfortunately for him, we are still waiting.
A study published in the Lancet showed, the better the care, the better the outcome.
The study says -
Doctors concede that there is simply not the money to provide such a level of care for all patients.
But they say hospitals need to improve care for “high risk” patients, such as the very old
What is needed is more care, not less.
His process is rooted in his belief that most hospitals give up on patients too easily and use techniques that date to the 1960s. By using all the methods available, doctors can sustain the existence of a person whose heart has stopped beating, he says, and he believes his process could save 40,000 U.S. lives a year.
Indeed, those who undergo cardiac arrest and are resuscitated at Parnia's hospital have a 33% chance of surviving, compared to about 16% at the average U.S. hospital. Doctors, he argues, should use machines to conduct CPR (they're better at it than humans, he says) and cool the body down drastically as the patient's blood is oxygenated using a process called ECMO -- it's standard in Japan, and involves drawing the blood from the body and running it through a device that siphons out CO2 and adds oxygen. [KSDK]
In June 2011, a 30-year-old female was found in a forest at 8:32 a.m. following an overdose of medications. She was dead. Her body temperature had dropped from 37˚C (98.5˚F) to 20˚C (68˚F), meaning that she had been there for several hours. The ambulance team arrived at 8:49 a.m., administered CPR and shocked her heart using an automated external defibrillator, but she remained dead.
When the woman arrived at the hospital at 9:22 a.m., her body temperature was still 20˚C (68˚F), and her pupils were fixed and dilated and not reactive to light, signifying that she remained dead. The emergency doctors performed CPR and inserted a breathing tube and ventilated her lungs with an automatic ventilator, all while continuing chest compressions. The drugs adrenaline, amiodarone, and lidocaine were injected to restart the heart. Despite efforts to begin warming her up, the woman's temperature remained unchanged. The doctors then hooked her up to the ECMO machine to ensure optimal oxygen supply.
After six hours of treatment, her temperature returned to 32˚C (89.5˚F), and her heart restarted. Although she had remained physically dead for at least five to 10 hours overnight without any treatment, and then for a further six hours while undergoing lifesaving treatment in the hospital, the woman was able to recover and eventually walk out of the hospital without organ and brain damage three weeks later. Because she had been naturally cooled down during the time that her heart was stopped, her cells did not sustain permanent damage and were able to return to functionality once oxygen delivery was restored. This is what is commonly known as a Near Death Experience, though I now propose that such experiences be termed After Death Experiences because the woman had, in fact, died. [Huffington Post]