More people could be brought back from death if doctors used knowledge about the treatment of cardiac arrest, claims Dr. Sam Parnia of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York.
Dr. Parnia's new book Erasing Death about resuscitation science seems to imply that resurrection is a medical possibility (video below).
He recently told Spiegel Online International: "With today's medicine, we can bring people back to life up to one, maybe two hours, sometimes even longer, after their heart stopped beating and they have thus died by circulatory failure. In the future, we will likely get better at reversing death."
"We may have injectable drugs that slow the process of cell death in the brain and other organs. It is possible that in 20 years, we may be able to restore people to life 12 hours or maybe even 24 hours after they have died. You could call that resurrection, if you will. But I still call it 'resuscitation science.'"
When asked why survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests continue to be poor, Dr. Parnia said: "There is no generally enforced standard of care. In some communities in the United States, survival rates after resuscitation are as low as close to 0 percent."
"...Here in Stony Brook we had a 21 percent survival rate when I first arrived. Now, two years later, we are at 33 percent. In the first quarter of this year, our latest available data shows that we reached 38 percent, which likely puts us among the top hospitals in the U.S."
When asked about permanent brain damage resulting from lack of oxygen, three to five minutes after the heart stops, Dr. Parnia claims this is a "widely-held misconception, even among doctors. It's mostly based on research done in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s."
Dr. Parnia adds: "...Since the arrival of CPR more than 50 years ago, we know that this view is no longer correct. Death is not a fixed moment anymore. From a cellular perspective, it is a process that proceeds at various speeds in the different tissues of the body after the heart stops."
Source: Spiegel Online International