Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Israeli Doctors Revive Technically Dead Patient

Patient was declared dead with no pulse before going into surgery.

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: August 9th, 2010 in News » Israel

Israeli Doctors Revive Technically Dead Patient

Tikia Hassan's aorta burst before she was even wheeled into the operating room at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Hassan’s aorta had ruptured, eventually tearing completely. Blood had filled the membrane surrounding her heart, and it stopped beating all together.

Before even entering the operating room, Hassan was medically defined as dead and had no pulse, but the doctors decided to attempt the surgery anyway, performing CPR while trying to repair the aorta simultaneously.

According to Doctor Gil Bolotin, head of Rambam's department of cardiac surgery, this was a "very dramatic procedure, carried out only in very isolated instances, because the patient's condition was considered extremely severe to begin with."

Haaretz reported that at first, the doctors massaged the patient’s heart externally, allowing them to remove blood clots from the region. Hassan was then hooked up to a heart-lung machine that allowed the heart to start beating again. Both the ruptured aorta and a congenitally faulty heart valve were also replaced during the course of the surgery, which lasted a total of nine hours.

Amazingly, Hassan made a full recovery, which, according to hospital staff, was considered a “medical miracle.”

"I warned [Hassan's] family that she was very likely not to wake up, or wake up with severe and irreversible brain damage," Bolotin said. However, after a three-day coma, Hassan awoke and promptly regained her ability to both speak and function normally. She was released a week later.

"The chances that she would wake up without any brain damage were very slim," Bolotin continued. "Now, after having made a full recovery, she will only be required to maintain her blood pressure and take anti-clotting medication, but she can resume a full and active life."

On Sunday, the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel initiated a new hybrid cardiac operating facility, which is one of the most advanced of its kind in the world. It permits doctors to perform heart surgery and angioplasty simultaneously.

Approximately 15 patients have been treated in the new facility over the past three weeks. It was on Sunday that doctors performed heart valve implants combined with simultaneous angioplasty to open a severely clogged artery.

According to Dr. Ehud Ra'anani of Sheba's cardiac department, "in the future it will be possible to conduct less invasive procedures following serious cardiac failures. Instead of completely opening up the chest to perform five or six bypasses, we will be able to perform one little bypass through a small incision, which will enable faster recuperation, while addressing the other blocked vessels with angioplasty.”

According to Haaretz, there are only 20 such hybrid operating facilities in the Western world, the most progressive ones located in Germany and the U.S. The facility at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is, interestingly, an operating room that had been demolished and then rebuilt from the ground up over the last three years, this at a cost of $5 million.

The new facility includes a sophisticated video system which enables reception from 32 different sources, including monitors, cameras in the room and a camera that the surgeon wears on his head.

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