Surviving Against All Odds: A Cardiac Arrest Miracle in Vietnam Saved with ECMO and Genetic Testing

Saving someone from cardiac arrest through 45 minutes of patient resuscitation

In Ho Chi Minh City, a 39-year-old man collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while using his chest to block a ball. The doctors at Gia Dinh People’s Hospital resuscitated him for 45 minutes with 10 electric shocks and then performed ECMO to save his life.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the patient had no detectable pulse, unmeasurable blood pressure, and abnormal vital signs on the monitor, showing continuous ventricular tachycardia. Despite continuous efforts to revive his heart with electric shocks, it remained non-responsive. After 45 minutes of resuscitation, the patient finally showed signs of recovery but suffered severe hypotension and pulmonary edema.

Doctors implemented hypothermia and ECMO to protect the brain and optimize heart and lung function. After 48 hours of treatment, the patient fully regained consciousness, was removed from ECMO after 72 hours, and discharged from the intensive care unit after 6 days.

Genetic testing revealed a mutation in the MYPN gene, a rare cause of dilated cardiomyopathy leading to sudden death. The patient received a defibrillator implant to prevent future incidents and underwent further screening for cardiovascular disease in family members.

To prevent sudden cardiac death while participating in sports activities, individuals should understand their cardiovascular health and seek medical advice before engaging in intense physical activity. If there is a family history of sudden death or symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath during exercise occur, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately for early detection and prevention of potential abnormalities.

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