Meet the Doctor Who Resurrects People

Sam Parnia offers patients a few more decades

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2013 7:30 AM CDT | Updated Apr 13, 2013 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Dead? Sam Parnia is the doctor you want to see. The Brit runs an intensive care unit in New York state, and he's brought back patients who have been dead for hours, the Guardian reports. His process is rooted in his belief that most hospitals give up on patients too easily and use techniques that date to the 1960s. By using all the methods available, doctors can sustain the existence of a person whose heart has stopped beating, he says, and he believes his process could save 40,000 US lives a year.

Indeed, those who undergo cardiac arrest and are resuscitated at Parnia's hospital have a 33% chance of surviving, compared to about 16% at the average US hospital. Doctors, he argues, should use machines to conduct CPR (they're better at it than humans, he says) and cool the body down drastically as the patient's blood is oxygenated using a process called ECMO—it's standard in Japan, and involves drawing the blood from the body and running it through a device that siphons out CO2 and adds oxygen. He relates his argument in a new book, The Lazarus Effect, which notes the story of a Japanese girl who was "dead for more than three hours" before being resuscitated over a period of six hours; since then, she's given birth, he says. Head to the Guardian for the full profile.

A New York state doctor can 'resurrect' patients.
A New York state doctor can 'resurrect' patients.   (Shutterstock)
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