In an Australian first, doctors have used a new resuscitation technique to revive three patients who were clinically dead for up to an hour.
One of the lucky survivors was Colin Fiedler, 49, who was pronounced dead at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, after suffering a heart attack, The Herald Sun reported.
Doctors brought Fieldler back to life using a U.S.-made cardiopulmonary resuscitation machine called the “AutoPulse” to perform continuous chest compressions, and another machine to pump blood and oxygen to his brain and other vital organs.
Seven cardiac patients were treated with the new machine – three survived with no brain injury.
Though the machine was commercialized in the U.S. in 2003, it is only now being tested in Australia. The Alfred Hospital is the only hospital in Australia to use the AutoPulse, but doctors hope that given the success of clinical trials it will be made available in more emergency rooms.
US company Zoll, which makes the AutoPulse, said the machine was a “non-invasive, cardiac support pump” that moves more blood through the body than manual compressions.
“Victims receive more consistent, high-quality compressions than those delivered by simple automated CPR devices, which means improved blood flow,” Zoll said.
The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information said a fairly recent study on the effectiveness of the AutoPulse on out-of-hospital heart attack patients showed the machine had a "promising" future.
Researchers found that the 29 patients who participated in the study received more diastolic blood pressure with the machine than they would have with manual compressions.