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Man saved after 18 hours in cardiac arrest

MidiLibre/Scoop, Apr 6

A 59 year old Béziers man survived a heart attack against all the odds.

The man was found near the river Orb, not moving, with a very low heart rate. He had a cardiac arrest soon after he was found. That was the start of the long rescue. He was transported to Béziers hospital, and then helicoptered to Montpellier. All that time he was being given cardiac massage. After four hours of massage, first of all by hand, and then with a machine, his heart started moving very softly. The massage was continued for another day, until his heart was beating correctly.

Professor Xavier Capdevila, head of the resuscitation unit at Montpellier University Hospital, explained that the man was in a state of hyperthermia, and that’s what saved him. The body reacted to the cold temperatures, and it slowed down the bodily functions.

The professor does not like to talk about a “miracle”, but talks of a “very beautiful story”, where “the doggedness of the medical staff paid off”.

"We are happy to have done our job and to have done it well," he added. "A story like that reinforces the commitment of all staff."

The man is “communicating, eating and joking, and his liver, kidneys, heart, and brain are responding perfectly well,” said Xavier Capdevila. The recovery of the thorax, damaged by the massages, will take a little more time.

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