Lazarus syndrome: strange cases of "resurrection" after cardiac arrest and cessation of blood circulation

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Lazarus syndrome: strange cases of "resurrection" after cardiac arrest and cessation of blood circulation
Lazarus syndrome: strange cases of "resurrection" after cardiac arrest and cessation of blood circulation

Lazarus syndrome is a sudden resumption of cardiac activity that occurs after a person has been pronounced dead. In the medical literature, the first such case was described back in 1982. We'll go into more detail about Lazarus Syndrome and explain it scientifically.

The medical literature has documented dozens of cases of "resurrection" in which people pronounced dead after cardiac arrest spontaneously returned to the "world of the living."

In dozens of medical reports, there are cases where patients "came to life" after death. This phenomenon is called Lazarus Syndrome, after a New Testament character who was resurrected four days after his death.

This syndrome is also known as autoresuscitation - an event in which the heart of a person, after stopping, spontaneously restarts and blood circulation returns (while attempts to resuscitate it have already stopped).

According to the New Testament, Lazarus was dead for four days before Jesus brought him back to life. However, with Lazarus syndrome, “death” does not last that long.

In a 2020 study that analyzed all the known medical literature on this phenomenon, scientists concluded that blood circulation is most often restored within 10 minutes after cessation of resuscitation attempts.

A 2001 medical report described the case of a 66-year-old patient who suffered cardiac arrest due to a leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm. Medical workers tried to resuscitate the man for 17 minutes, after which they pronounced him dead. They turned off all monitors and a ventilator. However, the surgeon stayed with the man in the ward to show him to the medical students.

Surprisingly, ten minutes after the resuscitation attempts stopped and the monitors turned off, the surgeon felt the pulse. The medical staff took the necessary measures urgently and the patient's heartbeat fully resumed. Soon the aneurysm was cured, and the man went on the mend.

What Causes Lazarus Syndrome?

Scientists still don't know the exact cause of Lazarus syndrome. However, there are several theories that might explain it.

One of the main explanations is air retention in the lungs. During hyperventilation (CPR) of the lungs, air enters the organ too quickly, it does not have enough time to exhale, and air begins to accumulate. This increases the pressure in the chest and becomes so high that the heart cannot handle pumping blood. All this leads to the cessation of blood circulation and cardiac arrest. When CPR stops, trapped air begins to escape from the lungs, which relieves pressure in the chest. Blood circulation is restored.

CPR can also delay the delivery of IV drugs. Again, due to air retention in the lungs. Once CPR is stopped, medications begin to flow through the bloodstream and, in some cases, lead to "resurrection."

The use of a defibrillator also sometimes produces this result. Sometimes there is a delay between the discharge and its effect. This delay can last long enough for it to appear from the outside as if blood circulation was restored spontaneously, and not due to a discharge.

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