Friday, August 23, 2013

Dead for 42 Minutes, Brought Back to Life

We have been tracking resuscitation therapy closely since I had my own encounter in 2005 when there was no background at all.  Now we have a deliverable machine called the thumper that sustains the CPR artificially.  We have also reported on a two and one half hour event without a heartbeat that allowed the victim to recover and go home.  What is key is that this machine is now rolling out and victims will be make it to the operating table and superior prospects.

This is very good news because the protocol allowed surgeons to successfully intervene and repair major damage before resuscitation.  Thus the technology relives the med team of hands on CPR.

What had not been understood is that merely squeezing the chest and heart will increase the internal blood pressure and induce some modest cyclic movement.  This allows oxygen in the blood to be simply used and we even know that is good enough for two and one half hours.  Again no circulation is happening here at all, but simple disturbance of the blood itself.

Mum Vanessa Tanasio, dead for 42 minutes, brought back to life by medical miracle


AUGUST 19, 2013

A VICTORIAN mother of two who was clinically dead for 42 minutes has been given the chance to see her children grow up after a medical miracle saved her life.

Doctors used a high-tech mechanical CPR machine, known as a thumper, that kept blood flowing to her brain and, at the same time, allowed them to perform an emergency heart surgery.

Vanessa Tanasio heart stopped twice after she suffered two heart attacks last Monday.

The Narre Warren mum was getting her children ready for school when she felt extreme pain across her chest.

Her mother, Virginia Tanasio, called triple 0 and urged her two grandchildren to stay upstairs.

The 41 year old collapsed on the couch, suffering her first cardiac arrest.

Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics used defibrillator shocks to kick start her heart.

At MonashHeart in Clayton she suffered a second attack, this time on the operating table.

Fortunately, the cardiology team had access to a new automated chest compression machine called the LUCAS 2 or the thumper.

For more than 30 minutes the battery powered machine gave her CPR - running dry two full batteries - which kept blood flowing to her vital organs, including the brain.

It also allowed MonashHeart cardiologist Dr Wally Ahmar to perform a coronary angiogram while the machine pumped the blood.

This procedure is a special x-ray that allows them to check and repair blockages.

Normally they would perform manual CPR and take short breaks so the X-ray and repairs can take place.

But MonashHeart Director Professor Ian Meredith said it allowed hands-free CPR that allowed them to perform the procedure and reduce the risk of brain by keeping blood pumping.

The angiogram revealed that one of her main heart arteries, known as the widow maker, was blocked.

Dr Ahmar inserted a balloon and stent to unblock the artery and her heart began to beat again.

On Wednesday she woke up and wrote on a piece of paper one word: kids.

It was then that her mother knew she would pull through.

Mrs Tanasio, who was due to be discharged yesterday, said she felt extremely lucky to have a second chance at life.

“I couldn’t do it to my mum who lost her son and husband, or my children, it obviously was just not my time to go.”

She has given up smoking, which is a cause of coronary heart disease.

“I would be dead if it wasn’t for the thumper machine,” she said.

Her son, Max ,9 and Ella, 11, said it was good to have their mother back.

“I thought she might be gone forever but when I see her today I just think -wow,” Max said.

“I’m just she’s back to being my normal mum.”

But when she returns home this week her son says he just wants a hug, her daughter- she is looking forward to having her washing folded.

The $15,000 battery powered machine is currently the only one of its type used in an Australian hospital.

It was purchased using money raised by Port Phillip Police officers and MonashHeart friends and family who undertook a 520km bike ride.

Sergeant Mark Robinson said it was staggering and incredible to see that their fundraising efforts had saved a life.

Dr Ahmar said it was a miracle to see Mrs Tanasio’s recovery.

“It was amazing to see her Thursday morning to see her sitting up in bed talking normally,” he said.

The machine has been used on several other patients, but Mrs Tanasio’s case was the most successful case.

Prof Meredith said Max and Ella could easily be without a mother this weekend if it had not been for the great combined work of MICA paramedics, Victorian police force’s charitable efforts and the MonashHeart team.

“It’s truly a miracle that after 40 minutes of reduced circulation that she is alive and well and completely cognisant,” he said.

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