What Is The Longest Amount Of Time Someone Has Had CPR And Survived?

I had CPR several times with the longest lasting an hour and a half. Just curious if other people have survived after anything like this also? 1st one was 29 minutes, 2nd was 55 minutes and the last one was an hour and a half. to say the least, my doctors and surgeon were stunned. they told my family i would have no brain function.

Rebecca's answer:
When I was 8 years old, I contracted Reyes Syndrome due to an spirin and chicken pox. At the time I was life flighted to primary children's hospital. First cardiac arrest, 25 min, second 45 minuets. I have died a total of 7 times in my life. I regained functionality of my limbs, but am wheelchair bound due to spacticity. I am cortically blind, and am sick a lot of the time. I graduated high school, college, and have an 8 year old son. Don't give up.

Tina Wilcox's answer:
My 23 year old daughter survived 100 consecutive minutes of CPR one year ago. She had been ill about a week with flu like symptoms. She had gone to emergency with complaints of severe abdominal pain and dizziness. The RN had noted a murmur and a gallop on exam and called the cardiac doctor. They took her in for an echo and her heart stopped during the procedure. She was very fortunate to have been at a hospital.

After 20 minutes of CPR, she needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital. CPR was continued for the 25 minute ambulance ride to the next hospital and another 45 minutes while being hooked up to life support. She had less then 5% function of her left ventricle and less then 40% on the right. Her liver and kidney's went into failure as well.

Four days later she underwent over 10 hours of surgery to have ventricular assist device implanted (mechanical heart pump). She had received more then 70 blood transfusions in 10 days. The cause of her cardiac arrest was a virus that had attacked her heart. The doctors were amazed she survived and had thought she would have the mechanical heart for one year and then need a heart transplant. They also thought she would have some brain damage.

She woke up two weeks later with no neurological impairment. She was down to 70 lbs and could hardly walk. She was discharged home one month after her cardiac arrest. She started to recover in leaps and bounds.

After nearly 4 months, her own heart was functioning at 65% and she had the mechanical pump ex-planted. She will probably take heart medicine for the rest of her life and never run a marathon but is otherwise living a normal life. I agree that where the cardiac arrest takes place and how quickly CPR is administered makes all the difference. I also think that youth plays a role in survival rates. Deciding when to call a code has to be the most difficult decision anyone has to make, doctor or otherwise.

Eleanor G's answer:
I am a first year paramedic and one of our lecturers told us that a doctor she is friendly with performed CPR on his son for 8 hours. They were out fishing and his son slipped, hit his head and drowned. His father pulled him out and commenced CPR immediately. They were in a remote area and there was no help for 8 hours. Obviously 8 hours is a ridiculous time to perform CPR for but when its your own son I am sure the logic is different. Apparently the son survived without any lasting harm.

Roxy's answer:
There are three acceptable reasons for stopping CPR:

1) More qualified person asks you to stop
2) Physically unable to carry on
3) Very definite signs of life observed, such as purposeful movement

Never stop 'because the casualty is dead' unless you are qualified to diagnose death

Jonathan Drayer's answer:
I am a CPR instructor and I get this question a lot, but I'm not in the medical field. Other then no medical attention being provided to the victim at the time, why would you continue CPR? Obviously in these cases it was best, but to be more specific, at what point is it decided that the person is not going to survive? Since one person mentioned poison, is it a case by case situation?

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5 Comments

  1. Elanor G's answer is interesting but it's hard to believe that no brain damage at all could occur over an eight hour period. It's possibly not reliable info! I just viewed a very interesting documentary about a woman who survived an eight hour cardiac arrest but the difference being she was skiing and trapped in snow. The cooling effect helped preserve her brain function and was a kind of suspended animation that reduced her brains need for oxygen. She now works as a doctor in the hospital where she was saved.

  2. In 2010, I was pulled out of my car after my heart stopped & I drove into a garden wall, I had CPR from 3 passers-by whilst they waited for the arrival of an ambulance (probably about 10-15mins). The paramedics got me going again, but the I arrested again at A&E. That seems nothing compared to the rest of you! But I was 39 and on my way to collect my children from school. Although, I have since had an ICD and on a high exhausting dose of betablockers, I am still a fit active mum and not a day goes by without my knowing and realising how very fortunate I am. One of the men who gave me CPR I see regularly out and about an always give him a wave! Life is precious!!

  3. My brother was in severe Hypothermia and was without a heartbeat for 109 min. Three nurses in a rotation performed CPR while he was being warmed by fluids and such. For roughly two hours they performed CPR and though he did not wake up right away they did get his heart beating again. He has since recovered with minor damage done to his kidneys from the cold.

  4. When I was 32 I had a massive heart attack. I was at church less than half a mile from the hospital. Two heart specialists were present in the hospital whne I drove to the emergency entrance. I went into full code as I walked into the hospital. I didnt realize that I was having a heart attack. They ended up performing CPR and then shocking me 66 times until the emergency heart cath opened my artery and stableized. All of this was over a twelve hour period. I was given last rights twice during this process. I was on full life support and in an induced coma for five days. Five days later I walked out of the hospital. The doctors ended up putting three stents and a Pacemaker/defib device in me which has never gone off. I have no limitations and am very active. By the way, my doctors first name was Angel.

  5. My name is Jeremiah Kliesing.At the Michael DeBakey VA Hospital in Houston, I coded and underwent 5 1/2 hours of CPR before being stabilized and transferred to St. Luke''s in Houston, TX. The reason they continued was because every couple of minutes I opened my eyes, took a breath and asked for my wife... then would code again.

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