NEW DELHI: A 41-year-old man, whose heart had stopped beating for three whole minutes, survived because of timely surgery and is recovering in a city hospital.
Pankaj Malhotra, 41, was brought to the emergency ward of BL Kapur Superspeciality hospital in the mor ning of April 29 by his friends.
He had collapsed at work and had been rushed to the hospital, which was right across the street.
When Malhotra was hooked to an electrocardiog ram monitor, the screen showed a flatline for about three minutes.
However, the doctors managed to resuscitate him using a defibrillator, a machine that uses electrical current to shock the heart back in to rhythm.
“The patient had suffered from a heart attack and in 30% to 40% of such cases the patient is not able to reach a hospital on time. Thankfully, Malhotra did reach on time and we were able to resuscitate him and attach a pace-maker to keep the heartbeat stable,” said Dr Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Cardiology at the Hospital.
The family, later however, had a tough choice to make. “Since, his heart had not been working for three minutes, cutting the blood and oxygen supply to the brain, there was a good chance that he could have suffered brain damage or brain death. So, we had to ask the family whether they still wanted us to perform a surgery to open up the artery which had caused the heart attack in the first place,” said Dr Chandra, adding that a brain can survive only 10-20 seconds without oxygen and the patient may go into a vegetative state if the brain is oxygen-deprived for longer.
“The proximity to the hospital, swift action and good emergency response and the decision of the family to perform the heart surgery saved the life of the 41-year old,” said Dr Satbir Singh, Consultant in the Cardiology department at BLK Super Speciality Hospital. Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Cardiology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital