Cardiac Arrest

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Cardiac Arrest
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q
I have heard that the heart can stop (or the person can die) in between a surgery and can be resurrected after administering some procedures by the anaesthesiologist. As I am not a doctor, I would like to know why this happens, how the person is brought alive again and what is the state of mind during the period the person is “dead”?”
Answer
It is an interesting question with lot of thought and curiosity. Congratulations
The Heart can stop due to very many reasons during anaesthesia and surgery. It is known as Cardiac Arrest.
When cardiac arrest occurs, the person does not die immediately. Once the heart stops beating, the pumping of blood from heart to various organs also stops. Medically it s called as Circulatory Arrest
The blood flow to all organs carries Oxygen and Glucose which are vital for sustaining cell life
If circulation of blood to organs is stopped, the cells will not get oxygen and die in a short time.
Particularly the vital organs like Brain, Heart (Heart also gets its blood flow only when the heart contracts and relaxes) and Kidney will be damaged in lesser time
Brain cells cannot stand circulatory arrest for more than about 3 minutes
Therefore, if the Cardiac Arrest is treated successfully by resuscitation procedures within about 3 minutes, the Heart resumes it function to pump the blood again
The person will be back to normal.
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By the term Death we mean that all the cells in the body have died and cannot function any more and so life cannot be seen in the (cells) body.
This person is declared as Dead and thereafter called as Body. There is no way of bringing back life in that body. It can only be disposed off in the appropriate manner at the earliest.

Brain Death
Brain cells cannot live without continuous supply adequate quantities of Oxygen and Glucose, for more than 3 minutes.
Therefore, the damage to the cells becomes complete and irreversible when,
Adequate oxygen is not supplied by blood to the brain cells for more than three minutes.
Adequate glucose is not available for the cells to live, then in a few minutes brain cells may die.
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