Indian woman, 81, survives five cardiac arrests in six days

Recorded heart attacks in India have reportedly spiked across the population, including among young people

An ambulance in New Delhi. AFP
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An 81-year-old Indian woman has “miraculously” survived after suffering five cardiac arrests in six days, doctors said.

The octogenarian was admitted at a hospital in the capital Delhi, last week. She had experienced severe respiratory problems and was in a state of collapse because of low heart-pumping efficiency.

Dr Balbir Singh, the chairman of cardiology at Max Hospital, said the woman further suffered five cardiac arrests within six days, but was revived using electric shocks.

Dr Singh said that the patient was unconscious and in a state of shock when she was brought to the hospital by the family, who had performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her.

“We realised that she had very low blood pressure, and her heart-pumping was very poor. Initially medicines did not work. She had another five episodes of arrests in six days. It was complicated,” he told The National.

The doctors had to insert a temporary pacemaker due to frequent arrhythmia - or irregular heartbeat.

They also resorted to using an automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator — a small electronic device placed inside the chest to monitor and correct heart rhythm.

“The treatment was successful. It was truly a miracle,” Dr Singh said.

He emphasised that the timely CPR gave the medical team a chance to provide the woman treatment.

CPR is the most crucial basic procedure to save a life in the event of sudden cardiac arrest but only 2 per cent of India’s 1.4 billion population is trained in the life-saving technique, according to a survey by Lybrate, an online doctor consultation platform.

India is also experiencing a sudden rise in heart attacks, especially among younger and fit people.

Actress and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen recently revealed that she had suffered a heart attack.

“The case highlights that sudden cardiac arrests are becoming very common. Although she is 81, much younger people are getting them but if timely CPR is given, it can save a life,” Dr Singh said.

“The woman came to our hospital unconscious. We did not send a vegetable home but a person who is living her life. She is fully conscious, walking and even going to the temple

Updated: March 16, 2023, 8:24 AM