Fuente: msnbcJackson’s hospital known for ‘raising the dead’UCLA Medical Center surgeon pioneered novel method of reviving patients
Dr. Gerald Buckberg, a cardiac surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, sits
next to a computer display in his office at the hospital in Los
Angeles. The screen shows an illustration of how a heart-lung machine
is used in an emergency room setting to keep blood and oxygen moving
through the body.
When Michael Jackson went into cardiac arrest,
rescuers took him to a place known for bringing the dead back to life.
A world-renowned surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center has pioneered a way
to revive people that most doctors would have long written off,
including a woman whose heart had stopped for 2 1/2 hours.
Tested on a few dozen cardiac arrest patients, 80 percent survived. Usually, more than 80 percent perish.
took people who were basically dead, not all that different than
Michael Jackson, and saved most of them," said Dr. Lance Becker, an
emergency medicine specialist at the University of Pennsylvania and an
American Heart Association spokesman.
Could Jackson, too, have been saved?
impossible to know. Doctors at the hospital worked on him for an hour.
The UCLA expert, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Gerald Buckberg, said he
was not personally involved in Jackson's treatment, and that too little
is known about what preceded it.
"We have no idea when he died versus when he was found," Buckberg said in a telephone interview.‘The Lazarus syndrome’
However, the results in other patients show that "the window is wide open to new
thinking" about how long people can be successfully resuscitated after
their hearts quit beating, Buckberg said. "We can salvage them way
beyond the current time frames that are used. We've changed the concept
of when the heart is dead permanently."
They call it "the Lazarus syndrome" for the man the Bible says Jesus raised from the dead.
be clear: No one is saying that people long dead without medical
attention can be revived. The lucky ones in Buckberg's study received
quick help, and the reason they suffered cardiac arrest was known and
could be fixed: blocked arteries causing a heart attack, in most cases.
Buckberg's method requires:
- Prompt CPR — rhythmic chest compressions — to maintain blood pressure until the patient gets to a hospital.
of a heart-lung machine to keep blood and oxygen moving through the
body while doctors remedy what caused the heart to quiver or stop in
the first place, such as a drug overdose or a clogged artery.
- Special procedures and medicines to gradually restore blood and oxygen flow, so a sudden gush does not cause fresh damage.
Without all three elements, patients might suffer brain damage if they survive at all.
"You can save the heart and lose the brain," Buckberg explained.
and hospitals in Birmingham, Ala.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and in Germany
tested Buckberg's method on 34 patients who had been in cardiac arrest
for an average of 72 minutes. All had failed resuscitation methods with
standard CPR and defibrillation to try to shock their hearts back to
seven died. Only two survivors were left with permanent neurological
damage. Results were published in 2006 in the journal Resuscitation.
Dr. Constantine Athanasuleas, a surgeon at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham, treated one man in the study who
had been in cardiac arrest for about an hour and a half. The man's
wife, a nurse, did CPR until a helicopter brought him to the hospital.
"He was flatlined," with a heart "as still as your dining room table," Athanasuleas said.
put him on a heart-lung machine, whisked him to the catheterization lab
to see if he had artery blockages, then did bypass surgery to detour
"The guy went home and was neurologically perfect" at least two years later, the doctor said.‘He's doing extraordinary things’
Buckberg treated a woman who had been in cardiac arrest for 2 1/2 hours.
would not send her to the operating room until her CPR and blood
pressure could be maintained so further treatment could be attempted,
Sadly, the woman survived all this but died several weeks later from an infection.
has taken his work further in experiments with pigs in cardiac arrest.
He deliberately deprived their brains of blood flow for half an hour,
then used his resuscitation techniques to bring them back, with normal
or near-normal function. Results presented at a heart association
conference last fall stunned many, including Dr. Myron Weisfeldt, a
cardiologist and chairman of medicine at Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine.
"He's doing extraordinary things. You almost
don't believe the results that he got," Weisfeldt said of Buckberg.
"Most of us carry around in our head that if somebody's brain is
deprived of blood flow for 10 to 15 minutes that we're just not going
to get them back to any useful function. His data suggest it's
in Japan, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia have tried approaches similar to
Buckberg's with excellent results, said Becker, who is about to try it
takes training. It takes rethinking" to get doctors to adopt something
this new, and funding for bigger studies to prove it works, Buckberg
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Michael Jackson, 1958-2009
Copyright 2009 The Associated
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