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March 23rd, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Would you get the care Muamba did?

Could everyday folks get the kind of intensive resuscitation efforts that Fabrice Muamba, a soccer player whose heart stopped beating for 78 minutes?

The 23-year-old pro-athlete’s cardiac arrest and his subsequent revival during a British soccer match generated international headlines this week.  Muamba was described as being “in effect dead” by the team doctor.

Doctors applied life-saving measures such as chest compressions and 15 defibrillator shocks during the 48 minutes to get Muamba to the hospital and an additional 30 minutes at the hospital. Muamba remains at a hospital in London and has been talking.

His recovery shows the wonders of the human body and modern medicine.

“It's rare that somebody after 78 minutes can be revived,” said Dr. Susmita Parahsar, an assistant professor of medicine and cardiology at Emory University.

The ability to resuscitate him after more than an hour is “remarkable – this case is more exceptional than most,” said Dr. Benjamin Abella, the clinical research director in the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Neither doctor is involved in Muamba’s care.

From the stadium to the hospital, doctors in England tried for over an hour to resuscitate Muamba. He had a type of cardiac arrest where the heart showed lots of electrical activity but no muscular activity, according to the team's doctor. 

An electrical system controls the heart and uses these electrical signals to contract the heart's walls. But without the pumping action of the heart, the blood can’t move and carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. When a person’s heart stops, medical workers compress the patient’s chest to manually pump the heart and keep blood flowing throughout the body.  In Muamba’s case, CPR continued for well over an hour.

Would most people suffering cardiac arrest get the same level of first aid that was given to Muamba?

“No, they wouldn’t,” said Abella.  “They would not necessarily have access to that care.”

Muamba’s circumstances were highly unusual since he collapsed publicly in the middle of the soccer game where there were doctors on sidelines who immediately came to his side.

“It helped that it happened in a public setting. At their home, the response would’ve been much slower,” Abella said.

Life-saving techniques, such as CPR and cooling a patient's body called  therapeutic hypothermia are blurring the line between life and death.  

“What used to be an on-or-off thing, it’s becoming a gray area,” he said.  “You can be mostly dead. You can be restored back to health and life, so that’s becoming hard to define.”

Typically, doctors view about 20 to 30 minutes as the limits for survival, although some resuscitation efforts have continued for over an hour, Abella said.  Muamba’s survival is a testament that the first-responders on the soccer field “did a fantastic job of CPR and defibrillation.”

There is no defined length of time that doctors are supposed to continue CPR.

“As a physician, the hardest thing about CPR is to know when to stop,” said Parashar.  “You want to do your best for the person. Every person, every case is different. Sometimes, for a person who’s young, you do your best and go on for some more time. There is no cut off.”

All organs in the body depend on blood flow so when the heart stops pumping properly, this can cut off blood flow and damage any organ in the body such as the brain, liver and kidneys. Some people after an incident like Muamba’s recover without any neurological damage.  But they might have defibrillator burns and chest pains from the CPR.


soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. podunda

    Believe it or not, chances are the paramedics would respond quicker than they did at that soccer match.

    March 23, 2012 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grant

      They had a team physician and a cardiologist in the stands and I'm sure an AED present All three of those things were to the scene in under a minute, maybe a bit longer for the cardiologist. Unless EMS has a teleporter I don't know about they aren't getting there in a minute. Furthermore, it is very common at professional sporting events even amateur events, triathlons, marathons etc, to have an ambulance on standby at the event. So more than likely, there was no delay in CPR/AED activation, and transport. This just isn't likely in most home situations. You're most likely going to have a delay in CPR since so few people are certified. You are almost guaranteed you will not have an AED around since most homes let alone businesses have one.

      March 23, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Not true I had to call the paramedics 3 weeks ago and it took them 6 min to get here... I was truly grateful...but they would never respond as quickly

      March 23, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      They had trainers and doctors there immediately.

      For example, when Malarchuk got a skate to the neck, there was compression on the wound with several seconds. You cut your neck when you flip the steak knife at home, you're betting that your spouse is right there to tackle you with a towel, AND there is someone else to call 911.

      But I definitely know of stories of paramedics doing CPR for over 1 hour, and other people surviving. The hint to stop is rigor mortis 😦

      March 24, 2012 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
    • EMTMD427

      The fact that they shocked him 15 times means he was either in Vtach or Vfib throughout the duration of this process. Any patient in any of those rhythms will get continued care even if it is for 78 minutes. I have seen a 8 year old get shocked 15 times and get brought back. The only time they will pronounce death if there is PEA or Asystole on the monitor for a prolonged time even after multiple doses of epi

      March 24, 2012 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Universal health care means poor equipment, expensive for tax payers, cost cutting, corrupt doctors, the lowest service available, year long waits for surgeries and the eventual bloating and privatization (doubling the cost). I live in Canada. When I was in Cuba, again it was "universal" however all medicines and equipment were prioritized for gov't workers and their families. Once you let the government run any business, it WILL fail.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:49 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      josepy, if quality of life is an issue, then one day, I hope that you live in a nursing home, I hope that no family comes to visit you. I hope that you get a pneumonia every few weeks and have to get sent to the ICU a few times every year for your tune up. I hope that every MWF, you're hooked up to a dialysis machine for 4-5 hrs. I hope that you get your foot amputated so that the infection doesn't kill you. I hope that your only happy thought is that sweet taste of death that the doctors/family have denied you because you were deemed incompetent to make a decision to allow your natural disease state to take your life. Because now the doctors aren't allowed to let anyone die.

      If that was any quality of life, then you wouldn't be looking at that former statement with shock. Would ANYONE call that a quality of life. Extreme? Possibly...

      Unfotunately this is the life for SO many people. The medical profession is great to keep a body alive. Keep in mind there's a person inside that body as well.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
    • Buddhist Hippie Chick

      My mom had a heart attack and was in full cardiac arrest for 18 minutes. She did not survive. WHY?

      Why did a stupid, useless sports star not only survive but came through pretty much undamaged?
      Was it money? My mom was not poor, she was quite well to do. But she was only worth 7 figures. I guess that wasn't enough. I guess you have to have an 8 figure or better net worth and have to be worshiped by millions of mouth breathing fans to get proper care.

      😦

      March 24, 2012 at 05:13 | Report abuse |
    • Canadajeff

      Buddhist Hippie Chick: She died because there is a difference between a "heart attack" and "sudden cardiac arrest". A heart attack is damage to the heart muscle from atherosclerosis resulting in narrowed/blocked coronary arteries. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time and is an electrical conduction emergency. A heart attack does not equal cardiac arrest.

      March 24, 2012 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
    • robert

      @Buddhist Hippie Chick – keep meditating and smoking ganja, you've got a lot of anger left. the "stupid useless sports star" was someone's child, perhaps a husband and father. he didnt kill your mother.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • Pei Mei

      I was dead longer than 78 minutes, this soccer players hype is a joke!

      March 24, 2012 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D.,NSCA-CPT

      I practiced trauma and emergency medicine at major trauma centers in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years including 10 seasons as an emergency physician for the San Francisco Giants. I trained at Stanford University Hospital in an emergency medicine and aeromedical transport fellowship for two years, trained on the famous trauma unit of the San Francisco General Hospital and served as an attending physician at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. I have supervised cardiac arrest resuscitations in which the presenting rhythm was electromechanical dissociation...as in this case. This is a very rare form of cardiac arrest for exercise associated sudden cardiac death. In answer to your question, anyone would have received the same extended standard of care because there is organized electrical and mechanical activity in the heart...the heart shows electrical conduction and is often beating but the electrical and mechanical activity is uncoupled. No one would ever walk away from a patient with a beating functioning heart. In EMD it is as if the heart is confused and does not respond to the normal pacemaker. I have supervised a number of EMD trauma arrests in which the heart is beating but there is no blood in it! The patient has bled out. You would never call a code until the blood volume had been restored. It this case the possibility that hypovolemic shock or autonomic shock played a role needs to be corrected.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Don't forget that he was also in absolutely prime physical condition. This wasn't the case of an elderly, out of shape person with heart disease. If your body is that healthy it makes it MUCH easier to pull through.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • A

      I'd hope so

      March 24, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • shawnster

      To the person saying its a persons fault for the corrupted healthcare system, by being overweight smoking etc. is just silly. Thats like Ford making terrible cars then blaming the quality problems on terrible drivers of their cars. The health care system is supposed to deal with sick people and its verry evident its a broken system not by the sick people but the ones in charge of its design.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • John Henson

      Nope. There's not a chance that the kind of medical care this athlete received would be available to me by ambulance in one to two minutes. There is also no way a medical team would resuscitate me for more than an hour, or even a quarter of an hour.

      March 24, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  2. Rebecca

    This happened in the UK don't forget, so not only did he receive life-saving care, it was free.

    March 23, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grant

      No Rebecca its not free, nothing is free, its paid by taxes by other people, in this case his taxes probably cover all the healthcare he got anyways. Ignoring the fact our government can't run anything with out it being over cost, I would almost be okay with taxes going to health care. Just as soon as people stop killing themselves through drinking, smoking, over-eating and not exercising. As soon as we have a country that actually wants to help themselves first, then at that point in time it would be a great idea to consider tax-payer funded healthcare. Until then, I'll pay for my own, and help cover the truly poor through my taxes.

      March 23, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Beatrix Kiddo

      You're right, Rebecca. Every modern industrial country in the world provides health care for it's citizens. Except the United States, where people at political debates cheer at the question of uninsured people dying. What a disgrace for our country!

      March 23, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • BH

      Yeah, cause I'm sure they don't drink and smoke in the UK

      March 23, 2012 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
    • snod123

      Nothing is free. You need to read "Atlas Shrugged". You can borrow it from the library.

      March 23, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
    • Carlos J.

      Stop drinking, smoking and over-eating? How else am I going to spend my weekend?

      March 23, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Free and better than US health care. Us is 39th in the world for health care quality, but the 1st most expensive.

      March 23, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
    • Poophandeggspeesmells

      U r VeRy VeRy DuMmMmMmMm!

      March 23, 2012 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      "Atlas Shrugged" based its political philosophy on a passionate atheistic basis. You can't in good faith use her logic without swearing off religion.

      ...as a non-religious, charitable person I find the selfishness of the philosophy its chief repugnance.

      March 23, 2012 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Canada is the next most expensive health care system to the USA in Health Dollars spent per capita (public and private). Canada spends about 55% of the amount that the USA does, but has universal coverage and far better health outcomes. In fact the USA spends more government money per capita (total government health care spending divided by the total population of the USA) than Canada does, yet Canada provides universal coverage.

      Countries like Italy have better outcomes than Canada and do it for about 40% of the cost of care in the USA.

      So, which system is best?

      March 23, 2012 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
    • Hien Tu

      Isn't it wonderful that no matter how much or how little the citizens of the UK pay in taxes, everyone gets the chance to have proper healthcare? That people who have cancer can get chemotherapy and not worry that they will go broke trying to get healthy? Or that parents with a chronically ill child, who might otherwise be limited in their health insurance coverage because one of the parents was disabled in an accident, don't have to fret over the cost of taking their child to a specialist? Or that Granny doesn't have to choose between buying food and the medicines she needs? I suppose you who are against national healthcare feel that if you can't afford health insurance and get sick, you should suffer– or die even–and be quick about it, thus decreasing the surplus population.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
    • Kayl

      Guys....one of the reasons that the US has such high health care costs is that we are litigation-rich and self-care poor. What I mean by that is that Americans (a literate people....they KNOW what to do and not to do) typically over-eat, under-exercise, smoke and generally disregard healthcare instructions until they become sick, at which time they sue their MD because he/she cannot save them. This in turn leads the MD to order every test known to man to avoid being held liable for something the might have been avoided had the person listened in the first place! (MIGHT.....I am sure every one of you has an exception....let's just stick to the 99% please....) The UK does not have the litigation issues that we have. Also, they have a (moderately) better hold on thier expenses by limiting the more invasive procedures to those most likely to benefit by them (They don't do CABGs ( coronary artery by-pass grafts) on 80 and 90 year olds....). Some of the stuff that we do is ridiculously expensive on poor souls that do not benefit by it.....(Let me tell you sometime about the 86 year old Alzheimer's pt that had open heart surgery because she was a ward of the state...do you really think that she understood that the post-op pain would go away, or that she would be glad that she had the surgery? No! She cried and moaned, was not able to do any of the breathing exercises and cried for her mother.....no the most heartbreaking thing I have seen, but sure came close....) Before we start screaming about how unfair our system is, we need to look not only at HOW we spend our dollars, but our own responsibility to the system. Before you scream about healthcare costs, look at yourself in the mirror and ask how much do YOU cost your neighbor? Are you overweight? Do you avoid exercise? Do you smoke? Do you drink excessively? If you answer "yes" to any of these, then you have no right to criticize a healthcare system that you are/or will be making even more expensive for your neighbors.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      Free healthcare? What a flippin' idiot. Yes, professional sports teams obviously pay their physicians nothing. Also, ERs in America refuse care to people in this situation.

      /sarc off for you flippin' idiots like Rebecca.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
    • shamdog

      Kayl, outstanding post...very well stated.

      Austin, engage your brain next time before typing. Yes professional teams DO pay their team physicians, but once they got to the hospital their role was done. The defibrillation, meds, therapeutic hypothermia, use of the ventilator, and all of the ICU care was courtesy of the British government. And as far as ER's refusing care...sorry, not the case. If there's CPR in progress when an ambulance hits the door, it is illegal for an ER in the US to refuse care. It's called EMTALA.

      March 24, 2012 at 05:08 | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      I could give two chits about the debate on U.S. Healthcare, we've beat that deat horse so many times it's pathetic. Not only could I care less about that perverbial horse, I care even less about about this player and having to see the headlines over and over and over about this one player..... before you say anything, I didn't click on the story to read about the article, I clicked it on to read what bloggers were saying and if they too are tired of this story. Move along people and CNN,there's nothing new to read nor learn about with this event

      March 24, 2012 at 05:49 | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Tell that to the UK tax-payers.

      March 24, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I see what you did there, snod

      March 24, 2012 at 10:06 | Report abuse |
    • TJP2912

      You can thank the hundreds of thousands of lawyers across America for the lack of free healthcare – the cost and threat of litigation push the cost way above anywhere else in the world. In fact there's many things you can thank the lawyers for

      Anyhow having been brought up in the UK it is not a bed of roses and whle it may be technically free it can just take a very long time to get the care...Now I live in Canada and that's not perfect either

      March 24, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      It's defensive medicine. When someone is "more than likely" not to have something, you still order the test to make sure its not. If you look at the statistics, roughly 30% of imaging studies, CT, MRI, etc...are done for this reason, and its not cheap. It's really a sad fact that you train and pay your doctors for their judgement, but then its taken out of the equation. Why? Because that off chance you miss something and someone comes after you for your money. We have families to protect as well. Let me ask you this....if a doctor hits a car and the victims car sues the doctor for all he has, it may not leave a bad taste in your mouth. As the lawyer says....you can't bleed a turnip. But if that same person hits the doctor, and the doctor sues for all the other person has, that would make headlines everywhere. Why should those two situations feel different?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • paul321

      Even if its not free, people in the UK still pay only 50% per capita on total healthcare costs than people in the US do. And everyone will receive the same level of care and attention. The system in place in the UK allows for costs to be kept lower, for patient choice to remain a priority and for private healthcare to co-exist alongside the national service. Healthcare outcomes are also statistically better then they are in the US.

      Whilst you may have to wait longer for elective surgery (unless you have private insurance – which is your CHOICE), if you have an emergency you will be seen and treated immediately. In some cases diagnosis and treatment times for some illnesses are better than the US because of the integrated nature of the delivery of service.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
    • jenecca

      Well, being an American living in the UK I can tell you that I would much rather pay for my own healthcare than to receive the 'service' you get here. When I was pregnant they treated me like a farm animal and when my daughter was on death's door they kept sending her home, even though both my husband and I are medically trained. I have seen how they treat the elderly here, as in not very well or not at all because they are 'bed-blockers', and how they do't have enough staff to take care of the patients they do have properly due to budget cuts and constant staff reductions. The nurses don't have the same quality of training they do in the States (my husband being a nurse and doing his NCLEX work I can vouch for that) and the doctors treat you like you are retarded even if you know what you are talking about.

      If you are sick, then GOOD LUCK seeing the doctor for an appointment at your local meidcal practice because they are just bulging at the seams, and if you you need to go to the hospital for a particular service, then good luck finding a hospital that provides the service you need because hospitals are continually closing down units to comply with government 'savings targets'.

      Before I moved here, after working in hospitals for years, I thought it would be a great idea for there to be healtcare reform, but not in the hands of the government because then it is just a political football and then, because there is not litigation to hold healthcare establishments to account, the patient gets lost in the mix and you just become a 'target'. Managers will sit behind desks like they do here and decide how long you should be staying because the ward is exceeding the 'target' for the length of time your illness requires hospitalization.

      I didn't even mention the shocking food and substandard facilities. Give me US healthcare any day of the week over this rubbish system of 'care'

      March 24, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
  3. alex

    podunda... what are you talking about? There is no way that paramedics would respond quicker than they did at the match. He had trained DOCTORS attending to him within two minutes of his collapse. Watch the video on youtube

    March 23, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grant

      Reading comprehension and logic have been lost in this society.

      March 23, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  4. Ethics Board

    “It's rare that somebody after 78 minutes can be revived”.

    The reason it's rare is because many doctors would stop giving CPR will before the 78 minutes mark because the chances of a recovery is almost zero. Just because you have a pulse doesn't mean you recover from the insult of having limited blood flow to your brain during CPR. I've seen patients get a heartbeat back after >100 minutes of CPR, unfortunately they are are either brain dead or neurologically devastated. Just because you can give CPR for 78 minutes and get a heart beating again, but the person is with no function afterwards... would you? That's not always the case, but a majority are. Not a right or wrong answer, but just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

    March 23, 2012 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Scott

    Healthy, fit and young. These folks always get a little more effort put to them because there is a much better chance for an outcome like this. If he were my age they probably would have quit soon after arrival at the hospital and one reason for that is the first and second line of cardiac meds are available now to medics in the field. The treatment for the first 1/2 hour of care for an arrest patient is no different in the field or in the ER. Good for him, congrats to the medics.

    March 23, 2012 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jarrod Rager

    I'm not sure whether I would receive this level of care. I do not have a specific DNR statement but I have explained my desired level of care with my primary emergency contacts. I hope my requests would be followed. I am fortunate to have been near death enough to develop an appreciation for the last step in the mortal journey. While I do not eagerly pursue the end of my life, I do not fret over the prospect of death. As long as death is stigmatized as a negative experience, it will continue to control and motivate irrational decisions.

    March 23, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. MDIA

    Keep in mind, the patient being taken care of is a young, healthy person and that chances are MUCH higher when compared to an elderly patient undergoing the same treatment. The fact that he received care almost immediately, boosted his chances. Still, as "ethics board" mentioned, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. For out of hospital cardiac arrest the percentage of people actually being discharged alive is about 8%. Quality of life used to mean something. Now, as i see everyday, quality of life for some people is merely a beating heart. Its a shame. If a family asked me, would i do the same for their 80 year old father. My answer would whole heartedly recommend against it....

    March 23, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • josepy

      MDIA,

      That's one of the problems with medical practioners these days. You lump all people of a certain age into one category, when you should evaluate people as individuals. One 80 can be quite different than another 80 year old. It's not up to you to play God. One person migh very well be terminal at a certain age, while another may have many years of productive life left. It's blatant dicrimination against elderly patients.

      March 23, 2012 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • er rn

      I agree. The quality of life is the key here. It is not "playing god" . God may be responsible for the event that brings on the need for CPR! He gave us the knowledge to use wisely as well!

      March 23, 2012 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • josepy

      er rn,
      Who are you to decide what "quality' life is for somebody? It's up to the patient to decide what that is. Just because you think a situation in unliveable, doesn't mean everyone does. And what does someone's age necessarily have to do with quality of life? The health of elderly people differs just like anyone else. There are 80 year old's who still run marathons. There are 30 year olds in wheel chairs. Quit trying to make excuses for that fact that you're biased against spending resources on the elderly.

      March 23, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
    • Les

      You should be ashamed to call yourself a doctor! Every single person should receive the same care for the same problems. Who died and made you God to decide what exactly const-itutes "quality of life"? Whether a football player or a wise elder should not matter. You are a disgrace to the medical profession in the most extreme since of the word. Time to throw away the stethoscope and get over yourself.

      March 23, 2012 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      To those people who are calling me "God", or saying that i can't play God. What are you saying? If you loved one comes in "dead", i.e. no heart beat, no breathing, and i bring them back, am I not "playing God" in that sense. Why do you all invoke, "playing God" only when it involves an outcome you don't want, or an outcome you are not ready to accept.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
    • User124

      @Les You're response to MDIA is exactly why malpractice insurance for doctor's is so high many choose to avoid certain specialties altogether. Who are you to judge the way doctors approach certain patients? You think your years of observations from the chat room or with a single family member outweigh their years of practical experience with hundreds or thousands of patients? MDIA is both salient and correct, which is what I hope for from a good doctor. Save your self-righteous grandstanding and let the professionals do their jobs. You think because you can search for something on Web-Md you can be a doctor too. Get over yourself and show some respect.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      Les, in that case, I recommend you get a high school graduate to be your doctor. They can look at some numbers and just follow the algorithm. I didn't go through a decade of education just to look at a bunch of numbers and not think. There are more things involved than that. While we do treat diseases (obviously) we have to treat the person as well. Sometimes treating the disease process is not the best course. Everything in medicine has a risk/benefit ratio, while you think of your "one" loved one, we have taken care of hundreds like them. We know that when you say "do everything", you don't realize that it involves cracking ribs; because in order to restore blood flow to your brain and other organs, we have to push that hard. Lets get something clear, when you say everyone should get the same treatment no matter what "problem". I agree with you and that is what i provide, the "standard of care". That is NOT what we're talking about. What is still NOT at hand is cardiac arrest. There are protocols, which we follow. Even still i do the same thing for each person. What is at hand is should we code someone (CPR, defib, intubation,etc...), which often times we are obligated to do based on patient/family wishes, and how long do we continue. I agree, everyone deserves a fair chance. Doctors are to blame, no one takes the time to discuss what is to happen in these emergent situations. It is a VERY touchy subject, but one that I feel is one of the most important in medicine. Given ones functional capacity, other disease processes, one should sit down with their doctor and ask whether or not CPR could be beneficial. Realize though, that death is not always failure. And Les, if you get a chance, look at how much end of life care costs in America, not to bring money into it. Then you wonder why the medical system is so expensive.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
    • josepy

      user 124,

      So you're OK with a doctor deciding that you're too old for them to expend resources on? It's OK to lump an entire demographic of people together because they're considered too old?

      I'm glad that you want to put the decision about your life entirely in the hands of a doctor. I'm an attorney, and yes, sometimes we sue doctors. I've seen all too many cases of doctors playing God when they have no business doing so.

      Who are you or a doctor to decide what someone wants as their quality of life? I have experience prosecuting cases, should it be up to me whether you go to jail without a trial. What a stupid analogy.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
    • Fearfighter1

      MDIA..I agree with you...and do not believe you play god as your arguments are sound not arrogant. The body is an amazing vehicle but the fact remains that a 24/7 pump after years of usage is bound to wear down and fail. We can extend the life of the heart muscle a bit but must provide the right diet, right type of excersize and refrain from excesses such as alcohol and tobacco. heart disease can be based on genetics as well but also nutritional choices we make over the years. People need to understand that course of treatment is on a case by case basis..we all want a miracle when a loved one suffers but sometimes death is that miracle...sad but true.

      March 24, 2012 at 03:50 | Report abuse |
    • shamdog

      If you don't the doctor to play god, don't bring your loved one who is on their deathbed into their ER. Let them follow the natural course of their disease process at home. If a physician is ever "playing god" it is in the resuscitation of those who are essentially dead on arrival. If they make a decision to terminate resuscitation efforts, it is not because a cold economic calcuation based on your family member's age and how much it will cost each day in the ICU. It is because the current medical literature suggests the continued resuscitation efforts would be futile.

      Josepy and Les, I am curious what your stance is on a taxpayer funded nationalized healthcare system in the US. Especially one that has to give all potential treatments to all patients. You want equal, full, and complete treatment for all, so I would assume you've got no problem paying upwards of 50% of your paycheck in taxes to cover the bill. Yes, if we put every dying patient into the ICU and artificially prolonged their life as long as possible, that's about what it'll cost. Science is learning how to prolong "life", but humanity still needs to learn when to let go.

      March 24, 2012 at 05:24 | Report abuse |
    • User124

      Josepy,

      I don't know whose comment you're responding to, but it's not mine. For starters, when talking about quality of life, age isn't the only or even most important issue and you and Les keep bringing it up as though doctor's are just sitting around waiting for an elderly person to have some traumatic event so they can ignore it and gleefully 'play God'. Also, I used no analogy. I said straight off Les isn't qualified to tell a doctor how to do his job, period. The argument you're missing is that doctor's aren't withholding care based on a patient's current quality of life as being worth living or not, they're making the determination that going forward, after an event, what is this patient's life really going to be like and helping family members make informed decisions about future care based on that. It's obvious to me what kind of a lawyer you are; isn't there an ambulance somewhere you should be chasing?

      March 24, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      MDIA, I'm a poster-child (though not a child) for how EMS professionals and doctors CAN provide high quality care to ordinary people who have SCA. I can only be grateful!

      You guys have to make hard choices every day. My hope is that you increasingly have all the necessary information to make the best choices possible!

      March 24, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
  8. tokmed

    "He had a type of cardiac arrest where the heart showed lots of electrical activity but no muscular activity, according to the team's doctor. " We keep going until you're in asystole. DNR's are the only things that stop us. ANY electrical activity is a chance at recovery.

    March 23, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PBornesRN

      Sounds like they were shocking PEA???

      March 24, 2012 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
    • EMTMD427

      clearly a mistake by whoever said that, it was most likely a Vfib or a PEA that went into a Vfib after giving epi

      March 24, 2012 at 02:17 | Report abuse |
  9. Steve Tannehill

    The people who do the things that save these people are our true heroes. While we idolize the sports players we shouldn't forget the real life savers.

    March 23, 2012 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Geoffrey Hamilton

      Best comment on CNN, thank you!

      March 24, 2012 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
  10. JL

    If you were an organ donor probably not. Billions of $ on the line.

    March 23, 2012 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. er rn

    the comedian Gallagher is alive and doing well now too because of quality bystander CPR and rapid fantastic emergency response efforts. Then taken to a qualified heart hospital for definitive care: stents in his case. He is 65. Aggresive resuscitation is indicated based on cause of arrest.

    I urge all to learn bystander cpr and rapid activation of EMS. AEDs should be available anywhere larger groups of people gather and used quickly. It is not hard, and if the dying person has a chance, you're helping provide it!!

    March 23, 2012 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • josepy

      er rn,

      I totally agree with you. Resucitation efforts should be based on cause of arrest and not based on someone's age.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  12. AGrey

    Most neurologists would tell you that "Locked In Syndrome" is rare yet most patients in a coma or "vegetative state" have never been given brain scans that can detect whether or not they are locked in....because neurologists insist it's rare.

    I call this "cyclic Stupidity Syndrome". It's common.

    March 23, 2012 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Les

      Absolutely there are many diseases and physical states that resemble death. There are many cases of "brain dead" people that have come to life after spending weeks , months and years in a coma. When the medical profession and the families act as executioners because of "inconvenience" we get cases like the poor Florida women whose husband went to court to have his wife starved to death. and murdered a few years back when she was clearly aware enough to respond "yes: or "no" .

      As a former grave digger, I can vouch for the fact that the inside of some coffins from before the days of embalming had scratch marks on the inside where the supposedly dead came to life after they were buried. When you smell decomposition then you can be sure that a person is dead.

      March 23, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  13. john

    His heart more than likely went into ventricular fibrillation rythm. V-Fib can be reversed. As long as you have primary responders that knows what they're doing and with proper equipments ( defibrillators, airway management, IV,oxygen, and cardiac drugs such as lidocaine, epinephrine, atropine) the chances of survival is increased. Factoring in his age also contributed to a succesful rescucitation. From my experience 15-20 min of no response to rescucitative measures usually means termination of all efforts.

    March 23, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Actually, the description sounds like EMD initially. Probably V-Fib later.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
  14. ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

    Anna Bågenholm was "dead" for about TEN HOURS and experienced a near full recovery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_B%C3%A5genholm

    March 23, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lisa

      thanks for posting! I read it and it was very interesting. I hope in the future, science will be able to use more of hypothermia therapy to save patients.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    Of course not. I live in America and because I don't make much money, I don't have health insurance. Even if I did, its questionable whether or not it would actually pay for drastic care when my life becomes a minor liability to the company's bottom line no matter how many years I have paid them and how little health care I have had to get previously. I for one am proud to live in a nation where a corporation has the rights of a person and in fact has more rights such as the non-existent right to make as much profit as possible no matter how many of its customers that kills or subjects to lives of pain and misery which is considered far more important than my actual right as a real breathing human being and actual citizen to just freaking live.

    March 23, 2012 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Austin

      Well then, for starters, drop your internet service. Or is moaning online too important to take the necessary steps to get yourself insured?

      March 24, 2012 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      +1 with Austin. We prioritize the wrong things. You can't walk into a restaurant and expect free food. Why do you think you can walk into an ER and get free medical care, without paying into it somehow.

      March 24, 2012 at 02:11 | Report abuse |
    • Les

      I don't but I have every reason to think that paying $5 for a tongue depressor or $50 for a for a Tylenol is outrageous. And there is no justification for paying thousands of dollars for routine surgery. The reinst-it-ution of the Hippocratic Oath is in order. MDs used to have to take this oath before medicine became dehumanized.

      Some justify the bloated cost of treatment as "paying for the research". An excuse that completely the fact that most, if not, all, advances in medicine are done with tax payer dollars in the form of grants on university campuses and in independent research labs. Payment should be based solely on results. If the MD helps the patient they get paid. If they do not fix it then they don't paid.. You don't pay a plumber that didn't fix the leak.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
  16. josh rogen

    only those deemed wealthy enough or important enough would receive such treatment. under Obama-care only those deemed essential to the party in power would be saved.

    March 23, 2012 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eddale

      That's a lot better than you would get under the republicans. People like you that make less than $25,000 a year would have to walk to the hospital and wait in the emergency line.

      March 24, 2012 at 00:07 | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      "under Obama-care only those deemed essential to the party in power would be saved"

      Sorry to be harsh, but that is an utterly idiotic comment.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      As a vehement Palin critic, I still must admit that the "death panel" comment is actually quite accurate. It's amazing that some people refuse to believe that an older person will be refused care simply because of their age. That is absolutely the case. These people trust the state! Truly an incredible turn in the American thought process. Trust the state....how completely idiotic.

      March 24, 2012 at 02:11 | Report abuse |
    • shamdog

      I suppose you're right. By mandating universal health coverage, Obamacare is trying to save only the ones that matter to their party...EVERYONE. Republicans, on the other hand, are only interested in the wealthy. And "death panels"...have you tried getting authorization for treatment from your insurance company lately? Yeah, those panels exist already. The only difference is they're made up of lay personnel with no medical subject matter expertise making decisions based on what will make the most profit for the insurance company executives.

      March 24, 2012 at 05:31 | Report abuse |
  17. Shammy

    My ex- wife was dead for six years beforeva divorce lawyer revived her.

    March 23, 2012 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. GDS

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/04/exp.am.intv.snitzer.cnn?iref=allsearch

    Here's a link to another success story of an everyday person who had the same thing happen. 96 minutes

    March 23, 2012 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Chris

    The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States is only about 8%. That includes people with varying degrees of anoxic brain injury. The survival rate for people without anoxic brain injury is much less!
    For the most part, I GOT pretty much this quality of care when I had my cardiac arrest. Last March, at the age of 42, I had V-fib cardiac arrest while running in Oakland California. I dropped during my run, good Samaritans (complete strangers) immediately gave me CPR and called 911, EMS personnel gave me defibrillation within about five or six minutes of my loss of consciousness. Two shocks later, I had a feeble heartbeat and was on my way to the hospital. I was at a hospital roughly 15 minutes after losing consciousness and received therapeutic hypothermia. I was warmed up 24 hours later, regained consciousness, and left the hospital after 10 days with NO anoxic brain injury. I was extremely lucky! 8% including anoxic brain injury? Those are crazy odds!

    March 23, 2012 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Chris

    Turning this into a sideshow on political agendas is a distraction from the issue. So, instead of criticizing someone else, ask yourself, do you know CPR? Would you jump in (CPR & 911) if somebody like me was dying in front of you? Or would you stand by and watch out of fear or not knowing what to do? I am certified and I would jump-in in a heartbeat if you were to drop in front of me. We, each other, are the first and most important line of defense in surviving something like this. It can happen to ordinary people, I'm living proof, but it doesn't happen ENOUGH!

    March 23, 2012 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hank

      thanks – I'm signing up to get certified

      I think I was sort of certified once in a lifeguard training class, long ago

      must be different now

      March 24, 2012 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  21. Kayl

    Here is the truth of it.....CPR on a young, healthy athlete is a whole different ball game than CPR on a 70 or 80 year old. When a 20-something has a cardiac arrest, it is more likely (99%) not due to coronary artery disease. If you can resuscitate a 20 year old, they have a healthy body to keep going. In an older individual, the cardiac arrest is due to an overwhelming number of things building up: coronary heart disease (diabetes? high cholesterol?) pre-existing arrhythmias (a-fib?) so that even if you resuscitate them, they are returning to the same pre-existing state that brought them to arrest in the first place. That is the difference.....the typical arrest is in an older individual, and even WITH quality CPR and ACLS, the out-of-hsspital survival is only 6% (to discharge from the hospital). Now the other thing is that in an older or ill individual that does survive the arrest, thier mental status post-arrest is often significantly decreased (i.e, very low functioning). This is because the disease process (atherosclerosis) that contributed to thier arrest was also present in thier brains; the time of decreased blood flow to the brain becomes disasterous. All of these things are taken into account when the team (ER, ICU, OR or EMT) is doing resusciatation. Yes indeed, teams will spend longer on a "healthier" individual....both the survival rate and (more importantly) the long term prognosis are greater. Is CPR or ACLS effective? Yes, with the right individual in the right situation. Should you learn it? Yes! You may the one to provide CPR to an individual who has a chance of beating the odds. Is that individual likely to be a 70 year old, though? No....it is likely to be a 20, 30 or 40 year old. Older than that, chances (and the amount of time spent resuscitating) drop dramatically.

    March 24, 2012 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kayl

    One other thing....please quit tying this to politics! When I have someone come into the ER or the ICU I can promise you that the first thing I ask is "What happened?" not "Do you have insurance?" You call 911...(for AN EMERGENCY! NOT because you "fell out" ) and they don't ask "What kind of insurance do you have?" You all know this....please quit this drama about "standing in line in the ER for CPR...." I also know that if I have someone show up in my ER that is OBVIOUSLY homeless, my first question is not "how are you going to pay me?" but rather "What can we do for you right now? Are you in pain? Where does it hurt?" Quit dramatizing this.....you darn well know that no one in America goes without EMERGENCY health care. Shoot....we even see the families that bring in their 5 kids the night before school starts with "colds" so that they get physicals for the first day of school....even though we had a free school physical clinic every day and evening the week before....(Why you might ask? "I didn't want to wait for 30 minutes...I knew if I brought them here we would get seen sooner....") You can't make this stuff up folks....even if you tried.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • josepy

      Kay,

      Obese people have a higher incidence of coronary artery disease. Does that mean you don't try to resucitate a 39 year old obese person? Many elderly people are very healthy. You can't make assumptions about why they went into cardiac arrest. You are exactly the kind of person who doesn't need to be in the medical profession. I hope you find another job.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • er rn

      Kayl, that is how my ED is as well. "how can we help you? What happened" The medical staff never even knows insurance status. That is handled by the business office down the hall.

      March 26, 2012 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
  23. josepy

    MDIA,

    Your assesment or risk/benefit ratio and "other disease processes" is correct. Nobody wants a terminally ill patient to get their ribs cracked from CPR when it's not going to do any good. But that's not the issue you brought up. You specifically brought up the age issue. You asserted that you would strongly disagree with heroic, life saving efforts on an 80 year old father. Disease processes and risk/benefit ratios apply to people of all ages. You made it abundantly clear that age plays a huge part in whether you give someone "a fair chance". Let's be honest, withholding care from elderly people is the "dirty little secret" of the medical profession.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MDIA

      josepy, if quality of life is an issue, then one day, I hope that you live in a nursing home, I hope that no family comes to visit you. I hope that you get a pneumonia every few weeks and have to get sent to the ICU a few times every year for your tune up. I hope that every MWF, you're hooked up to a dialysis machine for 4-5 hrs. I hope that you get your foot amputated so that the infection doesn't kill you. I hope that your only happy thought is that sweet taste of death that the doctors/family have denied you because you were deemed incompetent to make a decision to allow your natural disease state to take your life. Because now the doctors aren't allowed to let anyone die.

      If that was any quality of life, then you wouldn't be looking at that former statement with shock. Would ANYONE call that a quality of life. Extreme? Possibly. Am I allowed to have the final say as to if this is good or bad quality of life....not necessarily. Would a reasonable person consider this quality of life....very unlikely

      Unfotunately this is the life for SO many people. The medical profession is great to keep a body alive. Keep in mind there's a person inside that body as well.

      Sorry for the double post, hit the wrong reply.

      March 24, 2012 at 01:58 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      so in conclusion to all of this rambling, yes, age plays a factor when doing CPR whether you like it or not. Older bodies were not meant to go through what we put them through. Based on population/evidenced based studies, we know how most people will do. We will perform code much longer on a young person than we will an 80/90 year old. With just about anything, think to yourself, just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

      You trust your doctor because of the expertise he brings, not because he can look at a manual and follow instructions. Judgement is paramount.

      Keep in mind, there are fates far worse than death. Goodnight all...

      March 24, 2012 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
    • shamdog

      Josepy, when you come to the ER in cardiac arrest, please be kind enough to have your full medical history tattoo'd on your chest where we can clearly see it. Also please bring a sign indicating whether you are truly terminally ill or not.

      Emergency Physicians by and large take every REASONABLE measure when resuscitating the dead, especially given the typical lack of information upon arrival. Maybe it's an ethical question, whether they should continue nonstop resuscitation efforts for 2, 3, or 4 hours in the trauma bay, but at some point a decision has to be made regarding the likelihood of success.

      March 24, 2012 at 05:43 | Report abuse |
    • Kayl

      Hello, please re-read the post....what I stated was that older folks have a decreased chance of survival. I NEVER said that we do not attempt to revive them, I simply stated that our chances of being sucessful are significantly reduced because of their age.....Sorry, age DOES matter when it comes to body condidtion. How do I know that ribs crack in elderly women with osteoporosis?! Because I have peformed CPR on this ladies....Josepy, you need to go do some time in an ER.....Every team is upset when their patient does not make it. However, (because we are thinking beings and can add and keep track of things) we know that certain folks are much more likely to have poor outcomes. That does not mean that we withhold care from them...we are just aware of their chances. IF you think that healthcare is withheld from the elderly, you need to visit your local ICU or Med/Surg floor......the VAST majority of patients are elderly....I'm sorry, I don't know what kind of experience you have had with the healthcare system, but I percieve it was not a good one. As for your elderly father, I hope all good things for him, but please make sure that your plans for his resuscitation agree with his plans for his resuscitation. (This is not an IF, but a WHEN) Elsewise, if he comes into my ER, I will perform ACLS measures on him until I have exhausted all the options....just as I would anyone else. Go, hang out at the ER, in the back...risk having your conceptions challenged...

      March 24, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
  24. dx2718

    If you're mostly dead, it's okay as long as you have true love and Max the Miracle Maker.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • er rn

      LOVE IT! Thanks!

      March 26, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
  25. josepy

    Just so everyone knows, according to KAY, if you're 45 years old, doctors, nurses and emts shouldn't try to revive you because your chances are less that a 20 year old. Even though, statistically speaking, your life expectancy is another 33 years. Some day, only healthy, slim, non-smoking, healthy eating 20 year olds will receive medical care. The rest of us aren't worth the effort.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shamdog

      And when was it that Kay said we shouldn't try to revive a 45 year old? Guess my eyes must be going bad.

      March 24, 2012 at 05:47 | Report abuse |
    • Question

      josepy

      Whats funny is you say your an attorney that sues md's?? then turns arounds and said you prosecute people in earler posts?? can you do both be a prosecuter for the state and a private attorney? or are you just full of smoke?? Sounds to me like you are trying to mislead people for your own personal agenda!!

      March 24, 2012 at 08:19 | Report abuse |
    • josepy

      To address some of the questions,

      Question-yes, quite frequently attorneys change their focus during their careers. It's not unusual to do personal injury cases and then move on to something else. I guess you'd need a GED to figure that out though.

      MDIA--Again, you're talking about what YOU perceive as quality of life, not what your patient would want. And let's get serious here, not all old people get pnuemonia every other day, or are abaondoned by their familes, or are on dialysis. A lot of older people thrive in assisted living communities. So stop trying to dramatize the issue.
      MDIA--What I really hope is that doctors and nurses like yourself and er rn get treated the same way you treat your elderly patients when you get older. It's all fine and dandy to make these decisions when they don't affect you or your family personally, I have a hunch that when you get older, or a family member gets very ill, you'll understand my perspective a bit better.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      josepy, that's my point. Most MD's and RN's would not want to get treated the way we treat patients. We know what's at stake, the suffering, loss of independence, the burden to society and family. Most MDs/RNs would opt out of medical treatment and easily sign that DNR, no questions asked.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • KDW31

      My experience is that most healthcare professionals would sign a DNR. I know I would (speech therapist) and my mom who worked as a TBI rehab nurse would also. We've talked about this in depth. Most people don't understand the full ramifications of brain injury and decrease in quality of life.

      March 25, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • er rn

      I treat every pt with respect and concern with all my skills. You are reading what you want into things. Age is not the factor ex to flag the very young and very old as higher risk, to be looked at closely! Some illness is not reverseable, but that does not mean I would not take care to the best of my ability. Shhesh!

      March 26, 2012 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
  26. zack

    i love how an article about a miracle turns into comments about politics and healthcare costs. people, let's not lose sight of the real message of this article. a man died, and came back to life. a miracle happened in a world where we're all looking for purpose, and reason, and forgiveness, and something greater. this Muamba man showed us that our lives are precious, but capable. he gave us hope.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. PBornesRN

    Here's another sobering thought ... the organs of a young athlete are worth A LOT of money. In the US, a "live", young donor body is worth approximately $250,000 (providing everything that can be used is taken). If he hadn't survived to recover, his body parts would have benefited others (in different ways).

    March 24, 2012 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Chris

    When trying to determine the effectiveness of CPR and if it is productive to continue, a Capnograph, which measures CO2 in the breath is an indicator that the body is still alive/metabolizing, oxygenated blood is being circulated, and there is still someone in that body! Or that it's not likely. More widespread use of this device (especially for EMS professionals) could help medical personnel determine how long to keep going with resuscitation attempts. The more information that is available to medical professionals, the better their chances of making a good decision for that specific individual.

    March 24, 2012 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. J.P.

    I, like most here, am an American. My Dad got laid off in 2008 and lost his health benefits. He suffered a heart attack in 2010 and thankfully made it. However my parents had to sell their home to pay for the medical bills. He has said before they would've been better off if he had died rather than go through what they have. Yes, he's alive but if he was born in Canada instead of the States he would be alive and own a house rather than just alive. Long live the USA. 😦

    March 24, 2012 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. c.

    J.P..
    Nothing like having the rich Republicans keep trying to deny us the "right" to affordable health care..
    Even if they would agree to a national major medical type coverage.. One that would kick in and take over, when we have a major illness, an illness that leaves our lives both physically, emotionally and financially devastated, now with the current insurance situation..Being saved only to feel guilt you lived is one of the saddest things and far too many people are left to feel that way..

    March 24, 2012 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Dan

    I treat a professional team and am paid for it. I am glad that the physicians on hand were able to recognize and treat in a timely manner, something that is out of the ordinary in the sporting world.

    March 24, 2012 at 04:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tammy

    I could give two chits about the debate on U.S. Healthcare, we've beat that deat horse so many times it's pathetic. Not only could I care less about that perverbial horse, I care even less about about this player and having to see the headlines over and over and over about this one player..... before you say anything, I didn't click on the story to read about the article, I clicked it on to read what bloggers were saying and if they too are tired of this story. Move along people and CNN,there's nothing new to read nor learn about with this event

    March 24, 2012 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Curt

    I called it.. Someone said I had no idea what I was talking about... I didn't respond.. Of course I'm not a doctor..
    But I called it... CNN went and made an article out of it... Shows people are Narcissistic by nature.

    March 24, 2012 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. kaelinda

    I've tried LCHF – and it works like a charm. But I just can't keep away from carbs. Once a week I go out to dinner and have country fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy and a hefty salad with bleu cheese dressing. During the rest of the week, I suffer. I homemade crave macaroni and cheese. I crave spaghetti in meat sauce. I crave chili con carne served over rice, with grated cheddar cheese on top, and sweetened cornbread on the side. I crave potatoes, pastas, pastries, pizzas, pancakes, and pretzels. Carbs! Carbs are bad for you – you get all the carbs your body needs when you eat fresh fruits and vegetables. But the body isn't set up to eat cellulose, the 'stuff' vegetables and fruits are made of. So what can you do? Suffer..... eat your LCHF and feel full for about 3 minutes before you start craving carbs. Sigh.

    March 24, 2012 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. John G

    Lets face it, luck had a lot to do with it.

    March 24, 2012 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. gumedalone

    let me see...after 5 minutes without oxygen, you're brain dead!nevertheless this guy is awake and talking...so ,how DEAD was he???

    March 24, 2012 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Pei Mei

    I was dead longer than 78 minutes, this soccer players hype is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2012 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. JPX

    Isn't it interesting that Fabrice Muamba doesn't say that he went to "Heaven" and met "Jesus"? Dead is dead and all religion is absolute nonsense.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. jmysterio

    I know people who have been brain dead for a lot longer than 78 minutes...our politicians.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. JM

    You mean a country with socialized medicine doesn't have a "death squad" telling the doctors that it is too expensive to have a team of physicians and techs working on a patient without a heartbeat for over an hour? Somebody needs to alert Sarah Palin.

    March 24, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. josepy

    And by the way, as far as KAYl is concerned; She wasn't talking about not doing CPR on 80 or 90 year olds, she said anyone older than 20-30 or 40. Read what she wrote. It is absolutely insane to think that someone who is only 45 years old would not be a great candidate for CPR.

    It would be like me saying. "I have prosecuted cases for 20 years. I have a lot of knowledge and experience when it comes to knowing who committed a crime and who hasn't. Therefore, there's no need for a judge and jury. Just let me decide who should go to jail based on my experience"....INSANITY

    March 24, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MDIA

      Your analogy is false. I don't send a person "straight to jail", that's not my job, i don't condemn people to death. My job is to inform the patient whether to "take the plea, or fight it in court." The rest is up to the "judge". One of my jobs as an MD is to make that transition from life to death as seamless as possible.

      March 24, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • MDIA

      Once you get off your age "high horse". While it doesn't work this way, say, you were the doctor of two people needing a liver transplant. Both these individuals are healthy, at the top of their game, have kids. One is 45, the other is 74. The liver is now available, both are a match. Who do you give it to?

      And before you try to say, oh this is hypothetical....nope. Happens multiple times daily.

      March 24, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
  42. MDIA

    josepy, you keep pointing the finger – "YOU think, YOU believe". I'm not a robot that makes cold-hearted decisions. I am a competent, reasonable person, who makes reasonable choices. Yes there are MANY shades of gray with quality of life; it's interesting how people perceive the medical field, how people come in demanding things that they have no clue about or the resulting consequences. As a hospital we used to give "free" meds away for indigent care. Because of budget constraints we have had to cut WAY back on who gets these meds. Don't think hospitals work for free, or even should.

    Do you think its fair that a 90yo man on dialysis and his bill should take away from a young mother and her prenatal care because the hospital can't afford both. Make sure you understand....we aren't just talking about 1 patient, we are talking about a population of people. We do not live in an infinite supply kind of society. Like I've mentioned before, look at the cost of "end-of-life-care" in the US. Its crazy.

    And don't feed me the...."life is precious" BS. If life were precious, then you'd treat it better. You'd eat better, you'd exercise. You would take care of yourself. You'd get off of facebook and visit your family/friends. Really life is way down on the list. I see lung cancer patients STILL SMOKING!! Demanding chemotherapy...and they get it. Unfair? welcome to the US medical system

    March 24, 2012 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Anon

    Obamacare would not allow this to happen.

    March 24, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chris

    Sadly, this thread has degenerated into sideshow distractions on politics, apathy,and negativity of various forms!

    The survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is only 8%!!!

    YOU can improve that statistic!!!

    LEARN CPR if you don't already know it!!!

    BE a Good Samaritan if given the opportunity!!! Care about another! Jump in and go to town! Personally, I'm ready!

    The result will be more people getting this high quality care!

    Maybe it will be you or one of your loved ones that will be the recipient of this high-quality lifesaving care!!!

    March 24, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • er rn

      Amen, to give others any chance of survival: Learn CPR, use it if needed and activate the EMS early. All factors in place is the only chance.

      March 26, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  45. The_Mick

    I can proudly answer the question at the start of the article with: yes, many of us who have coached high school were/are able to provide that level of medical protection much of the time. We don't own defibrillators, but the fire department does and often provides its presence during sports events. In most of Maryland, high school coaches are required to take three courses: American Heart Association CPR, American Red Cross Standard First Aid, and a college-equivalent course in Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries. Every coach must take a yearly refresher in CPR. My final coaching position before I retired was as cross country coach and each year I hosted the first major multi-school event of the Fall season, where hundreds of teen boys and girls just getting into shape raced on a slightly hilly, 3 mile course. Every year, I was able to get the fire department to station their paramedic truck at our meet -unless it was called away on emergency. And there have been occasions when runners collapsed. Though, thankfully, they never came close to hospitalization-requiring care, it was ready if needed. That's also done for many other sports.

    March 24, 2012 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

      Thanks The_Mick!

      March 24, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
  46. Chris

    My point is that "high-quality" care begins with you and me!

    It begins with those willing to jump-in, give CPR and call 911!

    With out that the survival rate is 0%

    March 24, 2012 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      None of my fellow SCA-survivor-friends are willing to comment on this thread. They're too incensed by the low quality of many of the comments to join in.

      So, I'm on my own.

      March 24, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
  47. Biff

    I've been a Paramedic in a very busy US Urban EMS system for 28 years. I've worked countless arrests. Yes, you would get the same level of effort and care-if you presented with the same unique form of cardiac arrest, that Muamba did. The fact that he had a cardiologist there is an extra, but they essentially have to follow the same protocols and use the same drugs and equipment that your everyday paramedic must. The heart's rhythm and its response to treatment always dictates the level of effort...not the patient's socio-economic status. If you doubt me, come and ride-along. We are proud to show you the work we do. Sorry to disapoint.

    March 24, 2012 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Kenneth Surin

    I'm a Brit who's lived here for 25 years. If you have good health insurance here, you're probably fine. It's true that hospital care in the UK is uneven in quality. Towns with university hospitals do better than rural areas, for instance. Regardless of this however, as several posters point out, the UK has better health outcomes for a smaller % of GDP spent on healthcare. And you won't hear of Brits selling their houses to pay medical bills.

    Re Maumba, it came down to 3 things: (1) his prime fitness, (2) the medics for both teams sitting right by the pitch with an ambulance already standing-by in the stadium tunnel (required by the English soccer league for all its games), and (3) one of the spectators was a distinguished cardiologist who works for London's top specialist heart hospital– he ran on to the pitch to help, and also persuaded the ambulance crew to skip going to the nearest hospital two miles away, and go instead to his hospital seven miles away. It took more time but the cardiologist knew that his hospital had equipment that the ER room of a local hospital would not.

    March 25, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. c s

    The reason he survived was that he was very lucky. Everything had to work perfectly in order for him to recover. Healthy people die all the time during sports events. Just do a search of the local newspaper and you will find someone who has died in the last year with a hidden heart defect. Here is one that I found, 1996 Olympic silver medalist Vigor Bovolenta died on March 25 after he was stricken with a heart attack while playing a match. He was 37.

    March 25, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. the law

    not with Obama care.. unless, your sucking of the goverment., us taxpayers we lose...

    March 26, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
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