Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds

By Sanjay Gupta

An unborn child with a deadly center disorder . . . a skier submerged for an hour in a frozen Norwegian lake . . . a comatose mind surgical procedure sufferer whom medical professionals have declared a "vegetable."

Twenty years in the past them all may were given up for useless, with out life like desire for survival. yet at the present time, due to impressive new scientific advances, every one of those members is alive and good . . .Cheating Death.

In this riveting booklet, Dr. Sanjay Gupta-neurosurgeon, leader scientific correspondent for CNN, and bestselling author-chronicles the virtually unimaginable technological know-how that has made those likely remarkable recoveries attainable. A daring new breed of medical professionals has accomplished impressive rescues by means of refusing to simply accept that any existence is irretrievably misplaced. prolonged cardiac arrest, "brain death," now not respiring for over an hour-all those stipulations was thought of unavoidably deadly, yet they not are. this present day, innovative advances are blurring the normal line among lifestyles and loss of life in attention-grabbing ways.

Drawing on real-life tales and utilizing his unparalleled entry to the newest clinical examine, Dr. Gupta dramatically offers fascinating debts of ways pioneering physicians and researchers are changing our knowing of the way the human physique capabilities by way of survival-and why an increasing number of sufferers who as soon as may have died are actually alive. From experiments with healing hypothermia to avoid wasting comatose stroke or middle assault sufferers to lifesaving operations in utero to the learn of animal hibernation to aid wounded squaddies on distant battlefields, those awesome case histories remodel and enhance all our assumptions concerning the real nature of demise and life.

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Mayer admits easily that neither he nor a person else actually knows what triggers the therapeutic method in a few sufferers, yet no longer others. What medication can do—neurocritical care in particular—is to supply an atmosphere the place that therapeutic approach, no matter what it truly is, can happen. i will be able to let you know there’s loads of staring at and ready. a lot of it wouldn’t be attainable with no cautious tracking of the mind, anything that hardly existed while Mark Ragucci landed on Mayer’s doorstep. “We’re placing probes and screens in that without delay computer screen oxygen degrees within the brain,” says Mayer. “We can degree the neurochemistry of the injured mind. ” I inform my citizens, it’s like rolling a video digicam at the broken mind in place of simply getting intermittent snapshots. At New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia collage clinical heart, each sufferer who enters the unit is attached to an EEG video display to observe for seizures, and such a lot are hooked up to a approach that takes consistent readings of oxygen. via tracking even sophisticated alterations contained in the mind, the staff is ready to interfere early—for instance, by way of giving vasopressors to elevate blood strain ahead of it drops to a deadly point or through giving sedatives to avoid harmful seizures that wouldn’t have another way been noticed by way of the bare eye. “When i began during this box 13 years in the past, this used to be fairly technological know-how fiction. It’s like going into the black field. An analogy will be: you’re fumbling round at nighttime, after which suddenly the sunshine is going on, and you’re capable of see this magnificent, advanced, in many ways appealing landscape,” says Mayer. “When i feel again to what we was once doing, it was once like flying a aircraft at nighttime, and also you might simply crash right into a mountain. There might be a few large challenge: a physiologic hurricane, seizures, or a mind harm, and we wouldn’t fairly be aware of until eventually the aircraft crashed. ” the object is, there’s no flight guide, now not but. that implies neurointensivists like Mayer need to think their means alongside. an excellent instance seemed at the first day of our stopover at. a girl who got here to the unit 3 days prior has began to convey an alarming trend of mind task. It’s a gradual yet regular electric rhythm identified via the unwieldy identify of periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges—PLEDs, for brief. much less dramatic than vintage seizures, they’re essentially invisible to the bare eye. the main you will find is a trembling of the eyelids. with no the consistent tracking, you wouldn’t even recognize the seizures are taking place—but refined because it is, PLEDs could be a digital dying sentence. at least, traditional neurology teaches that there’s not anything to do for a sufferer with PLEDs, except wish it is going away. yet we see Mayer try whatever new—a cocktail of medicines to aim and force the sufferer into a fair deeper stupor. He’ll flatten the mind waves into overall silence. In 3 days, he’ll deliver her again, allow the sedatives wash out of her method and spot if there’s development. consider it type of like rebooting her mind.

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