A patient declared dead saved by a pothole!

A patient declared dead saved by a pothole!

It’s a story that can make you smile or scare you: an 80-year-old Indian, declared dead by doctors, finally woke up because of a pothole on the road that was supposed to take him to the place of his cremation. Explanations from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.

On January 11, an 80-year-old Indian man, Darshan Singh Brar, suffered a cardiac arrest early in the morning, around 9 a.m. His grandson calls the doctor but unfortunately the old man is finally declared dead.

A pothole causes him to wake up in the ambulance

An ambulance arrives at the grandfather’s home to evacuate him to the location of the cremation ceremony, which was to take place in the town of Nissing, 100 km from his home. But the roads are sometimes bad in India and a pothole will spring a surprise.

“Near the village of Dhand, there was a particularly significant bump” explains the grandson of Darshan Singh Brar, interviewed by our Indian colleagues at NDTV. “I saw my grandfather’s hand move. So I immediately asked for the ambulance to be stopped and to check his pulse. The doctors found that his heart had started again!”. The man was rushed to Nissing hospital where doctors confirmed that the grandfather was indeed alive.

The phenomenon of Lazarus

For the doctors at Rawal Hospital: “There may have been a technical error when death was pronounced: the man brought to us was breathing and had a heartbeat correct“.

In this man’s case, it could be the phenomenon of Lazarus, which is “a biblical reference”. Indeed, according to the Gospels, Jesus resurrects a man named Lazarus after explaining that he was only “asleep”. This is why we speak of the phenomenon of Lazarus to describe this curious medical way for a person to “come back to life”.

However, even if the patient’s heart has resumed activity, it remains fragile for the moment: “Although he is now breathing without assistance, he remains in critical condition and hospitalized in intensive care, doctors explain. He is suffering from a respiratory infection.

How is it possible ? Dr. Kierzek’s answers

Asked about this unusual case, to say the least, Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, sheds some light on it. “There is no reliable test that can tell when someone is dead. As a doctor, we base ourselves on a set of clues: we examine the patient, we give him an electrocardiogramwe take temperature…But in case of bradycardia for example, from hypothermia or from taking medication, the report may be distorted.”. He nevertheless specifies that it is “extremely rare cases”.