Dubai: Ashraf Ali Abdul Mohsin, a 48-year-old Iraqi, moved to Dubai from Amman a couple of months ago. With no history of cardiac disease, he complained of chest pain and breathlessness on February 15. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to call his brother Atheer Abdul Mohsin.
Even as Atheer rushed to his brother’s aid and he was taken to the Canadian Specialist Hospital, Dubai, Ashraf Ali suffered a cardiac arrest. He also suffered a life-threatening condition called cardiogenic shock. On reaching the facility, he was wheeled into the emergency room, where he was revived without any brain damage after a rare 43-minute Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedure. But not without its share of challenges.
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The prognosis for a patient who suffers a heart attack and is unable to breathe for long is very poor, especially if he is not revived in time. As per international norms, time is the key when an unconscious person is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only four minutes without oxygen, and death can occur four-six minutes later.
Dr Yasir Parvaiz, consultant intervention cardiologist, who operated on the patient after the emergency procedure, told Gulf News, “This case was miraculous. When Mohsin was brought to the ER, he was already in cardiogenic shock — meaning he had a very feeble pulse and his blood pressure had plunged. He was unconscious and all the ER doctors were giving him CPR and using the defibrillator to revive him. We were worried that even if he was revived, his brain with the deficit of oxygen could go in to a vegetative state. However, I have learnt never to give up on a patient until he is brought back to his normal body temperature. Many patients are known to revive in normal temperature. Due to the extreme cold, we would try our best to revive a patient with CPR for longer periods back in Canada.”
This is not a very common condition and when an individual undergoes such a shock, it is considered a serious medical emergency. Earlier, it was difficult to save a person who underwent a cardiogenic shock. However, with modern resuscitation apparatus and techniques, it is possible to save the patient with prompt treatment.
Here in Dubai, Dr Parvaiz’ hope was well-placed and after 43-minutes when the ER team was established the patient’s pulse and breathing, he rushed the patient to the CATH lab for immediate surgery. “Yes, 43 minutes of revival is rare, but when we found a pulse, we rushed the patient to the CATH lab. There, upon investigation, we found Mohsin had a near 99 per cent block in one of his main arteries and as we worked to place the stent, he continued to be unstable with irregular heart rhythms. However, to give him a chance at life, we conducted primary PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention).”
Patient suffers second shock
With irregular rhythms, Mohsin went into another shock. Once again, the doctors had to revive him. Post-surgery, he remained in the Cardio Care Intensive Unit (CCU) for nearly three weeks. He was intubated until he had enough energy to breathe on his own, said Dr Parvaiz. “After that, I have seen the patient for two follow-up appointments and he is in good and strong spirits.”
The patient was discharged earlier this month and continues to recuperate at home.
His brother said: “Mohsin is doing well, although he is very weak. We are relieved and thankful to the efforts of the doctors who revived him and are relieved they saved his life in the nick of time.”