Man was awake for 90 minutes during CPR: report

June 5, 2018

(HealthDay)—It's your worst nightmare: As doctors race to save your life while performing CPR, you're actually awake and conscious of what they are doing.

A new report shows it happened for one man for up to 90 minutes, and the finding suggests that sedation during CPR should be contemplated.

"At this time, we in the medical profession are not attending to the pain we cause nor are we aware about patients' levels of consciousness during CPR," said study author Dr. Rune Lundsgaard, from Herlev Hospital's department of anesthesiology, in Copenhagen, Denmark. "This should be an area of future research."

The new case study involved a 69-year-old man who suffered cardiac arrest in a hospital. Medical staff began CPR with and 100 percent oxygen through a mask. By the time the cardio-resuscitation team arrived, the patient's was 100 percent and he had a high level of , as indicated by open eyes and movement of his head and limbs.

The man was intubated, to ensure a clear airway, and given epinephrine (adrenaline) every three to five minutes, to try to restore a pulse and normal blood circulation, according to the report.

CPR was continued for 90 minutes, but the man did not survive. An autopsy later showed that he had a complete aortic dissection, an often fatal condition in which the inner and outer layers of the aorta separate as blood is forced between them.

The report was scheduled for presentation Monday at the Euroanaesthesia Congress in Copenhagen.

The patient's high level of awareness throughout the 90 minutes of CPR suggest that the efforts were highly effective, and stopping CPR after 90 minutes raises ethical questions because he was conscious at the time, said Lundsgaard.

Though it's rare, "awareness during CPR also raises the question of proper sedation during resuscitation, which is not currently part of the guidelines," Lundsgaard noted in a meeting news release.

A previous study found that 2 percent of survivors exhibit full awareness during CPR, which can lead to .

Explore further: Adrenaline rush: Delaying epinephrine shots after cardiac arrest cuts survival rates

More information: The American Heart Association has more on CPR.

Related Stories

Adrenaline rush: Delaying epinephrine shots after cardiac arrest cuts survival rates

December 2, 2016
Hospitals in which the administration of epinephrine to patients whose hearts have stopped is delayed beyond five minutes have significantly lower survival rates of those patients, a new study led by a cardiologist at UT ...

CPR for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be conducted for at least 35 minutes

August 30, 2015
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be conducted for at least 35 minutes, according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Yoshikazu Goto, associate professor and director ...

Heart-stopping condition could come with warning signs

May 2, 2018
A heart-stopping condition that causes about half of all cardiovascular-related deaths seems to happen in an instant, with no symptoms.

Study raises questions over timing of heart shocks in resuscitation guidelines

April 6, 2016
Two studies published by The BMJ today evaluate treatments for patients with cardiac arrest in hospital.

Smartphone app directs first responders to cardiac arrest three minutes before ambulance

June 19, 2017
A novel smartphone application (app) has been developed that can direct first responders to cardiac arrest victims more than three minutes before the emergency services arrive. Each minute increases the chance of survival ...

Refractory cardiac arrest patients brought to hospital with ongoing CPR can recover

August 29, 2015
Refractory cardiac arrest patients brought to hospital with ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can survive with good brain function, according to research in nearly 4 000 patients presented at ESC Congress today ...

Recommended for you

New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease

June 21, 2018
Investigators have identified a new cellular pathway that may help explain how arterial inflammation develops into atherosclerosis—deposits of cholesterol, fats and other substances that create plaque, clog arteries and ...

'Smart stent' detects narrowing of arteries

June 19, 2018
For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis—the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring—which ...

Marriage may protect against heart disease / stroke and associated risk of death

June 18, 2018
Marriage may protect against the development of heart disease/stroke as well as influencing who is more likely to die of it, suggests a pooled analysis of the available data, published online in the journal Heart.

Deaths from cardiac arrest are misclassified, overestimated

June 18, 2018
Forty percent of deaths attributed to cardiac arrest are not sudden or unexpected, and nearly half of the remainder are not arrhythmic—the only situation in which CPR and defibrillators are effective—according to an analysis ...

Tick-borne meat sensitivity linked to heart disease

June 15, 2018
University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat—a sensitivity spread by tick bites—with a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries of the heart. This buildup may ...

The molecules that energize babies' hearts

June 14, 2018
A metabolic process that provides heart muscle with energy fails to mature in newborns with thickened heart walls, according to a Japan–Canada research team.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.