Dubai Health Authority Heart Attack Survivor
Image Credit: Nadeem Rasheed

Almost three hours of long and rigorous CPR followed by a high-risk coronary angioplasty and stenting, conducted by Dubai hospital doctors, succeeded in miraculously saving the life of a patient after her heart completely stopped.

Sharifa Mohammed Abdullah was brought to Dubai Hospital from Rashid hospital for a planned heart bypass surgery, when her heart suddenly stopped before her scheduled surgery.

Dr Yehia Mohammed, Cardiac Anaesthetist at Dubai Hospital, revealed that the patient suddenly collapsed, her heart stopped pumping blood, her lungs were flooded with water and she was gasping for air.

“The CPR team immediately arrived and started CPR and the patient was placed on a ventilator. This was probably the longest CPR performed by Dr Ibrahim Al Bakri, Senior Specialist Registrar in Cardiology at Dubai Hospital, and myself. It kept going on for a long time but we were not ready to give up. We noticed that every twenty minutes there was a little change in the heart rhythm, which was enough for the team to keep going even though the patient had no pulse throughout the course of CPR.”

Dr Yehia said the team eventually had to rely on the mechanical device Lucas, a machine for performing CPR, due to exhaustion as the CPR lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

“The patient was revived. Everyone was relieved… but worried, fearing that the patient might already have significant brain damage from lack of oxygen,” he added.

The patient’s heart was very weak after the long CPR and she had almost no blood flow in almost all major coronaries, so the doctors needed to conduct an urgent high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), opening the blocked heart arteries and placing coronary stents said Dr Hesham Osman, Consultant, Interventional Cardiology at Dubai Hospital.

“This procedure posed as a high risk due to the patient’s circumstances from cardiac arrest, very long CPR and complex coronary disease, but this was the only hope for the patient so she was taken to the cardiac catheterisation lab, where I successfully opened up the critically blocked arteries and placed three coronary stents,” said Dr Hesham.

Following the procedure, the patient was brought to the ICU, sedated and put on a ventilator, and was looked after by ICU Consultant Dr Rashid Nadeem, where — against all odds — she started to show miraculous signs of recovery.

“After 24 hours, the patient was fully awake, and liberated from the ventilator and the next day she was sitting on a chair,” said Dr Rashid.

The patient, who was then transferred to the cardiac ward, where she made a complete recovery and was discharged home in good health, said that she was grateful to Dubai hospital doctors, nurses and administration in sparing no effort to save her life.