“Autoresuscitation” after cardiac arrest: the Lazarus phenomenon

Michèle J. Yerna (1), Cristian R. Tarta (1), Juline A. Verjans (2), Renaud A. Verjans (2), Amir S. Aouachria (3) Published in the journal : December 2018 Category : Cardiovasculaire

Summary :

The Lazarus phenomenon is characterized by spontaneous recovery of circulation after cessation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The pathophysiological mechanism is still unknown. We have reported the case of a 61-year-old man who collapsed owing to cardiac arrest after anaphylactic shock in relation to hymenoptera bites. Advanced life support was initiated within 10 minutes, and an alternation of shockable and non-shockable rhythms was observed over 60 minutes. Following intravenous administration of 14mg epinephrine and six external electric shocks, treatment was stopped. Monitoring system was maintained, and 5 minutes later, a spontaneous return of electrical activity with palpable pulse was noted. Despite an aggressive treatment, the patient died 12 hours later from refractory shock.

What is already known about the topic?

The Lazarus phenomenon is an exceptional clinical condition, which is probably too rarely reported in the literature for various reasons, one of which most likely related to the psychological “trauma” suffered by the medical team confronted with this phenomenon.

What does this article bring up for us?

On the one hand, the current article reports on a new objectified case, encouraging other teams to further communicate about their personal experiences. On the other hand, the article provides practical advice on how to implement and terminate CPR in order to better avoid such a phenomenon.

Key words

Autoresuscitation, Lazarus phenomenon, cardiopulmonary resuscitation