Afula doctor cools down cardiac arrest victim, saves life

The man, Raed Mahamid from Umm el-Fahm, was playing with his small daughter at home when he collapsed and lost consciousness.

By
July 25, 2011 03:49
1 minute read.
Empty hospital corridor [illustrative]

Hospital beds 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Emek Medical Center doctors brought down the body temperature of a 39-year-old lawyer who suffered cardiac arrest, from 37º to 33º Celsius, and saved his life last week.

The man, Raed Mahamid from Umm el-Fahm, was playing with his small daughter at home when he collapsed and lost consciousness.

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His wife called neighbors who rushed him to the emergency room in Afula, where he underwent resuscitation for a long period. Cardiology department head Dr. Yoram Turgeman said that unless his body was cooled, he would suffer brain damage due to inadequate blood and oxygen supplies.

Fortunately for Mahamid, the hospital had just received equipment that cools the body. The staff had recent research showing that in this situation, such brain damage can be prevented by lowering the victim’s temperature.

“We put on him the special ‘suit’ for cooling him. After 36 hours of such treatment, as his wife, parents and other relatives prayed for a miracle, the doctors restored his body temperature to 37º and he began to wake up. He was a bit confused, as he had no recollection of what happened to him and didn’t know his life had been almost lost but saved,” the doctor said.

Turgeman said that in some medical situations, such as in premature babies who did not get enough oxygen to the brain during delivery, or in cardiac arrest, hypothermia can be a very successful treatment.

The grateful Mahamid had surgery to implant a pacemaker that will prevent his heart from stopping in the future.

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