A 26- year – old BESCOM lineman, while working Devarabeesanahalli, was accidentally electrocuted and was brought to the Sakra World Hospital Emergency by his colleagues and the police on the morning of 2nd December.
There was no heartbeat when he arrived to the emergency department.
His heart was affected by an abnormal rhythm called Ventricular fibrillation, where the electrical activity of the heart becomes erratic and uncontrolled, and the heart muscle fails to contract with its usual synchrony effectively stopping the heart. In victims of electrocution this is could be one of the causes of instant death. When the heart stops the brain is starved of oxygen and there are only minutes left before it begins to undergo irreversible cell death. Survivors of cardiac arrests like this, often land in vegetative state, especially if CPR was late and brain was deprived of oxygen for too long.
Having received the victim in the resuscitation bay at SWH, our emergency team were able to revert this abnormal rhythm with multiple shocks and medications while they maintained his vital functions by artificial means. This ensured that the victim’s brain received oxygenated blood while the normal function of the heart could be restored.
Dr Bevin D’Silva – Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Emergency Medicine, Sakra World Hospital, says “Ventricular fibrillation is seen in most of cardiac arrest, this can be brought on by heart attacks or electrolyte imbalances most commonly, and in this case it was caused by a sizeable electric shock. Most victims with ventricular fibrillation unfortunately arrive dead to the hospital.
The treatment of Ventricular fibrillation, ironically is another controlled “shock” which helps rectify the rhythm. The team worked for around 90 minutes, correcting various imbalances in the pH of his blood, electrolytes etc. and put the patient on advanced life support. Subsequently a tightly controlled temperature drop was initiated in the emergency department itself to further improve the preservation of brain function.
We are particularly happy to inform that the patient is now off the ventilator and has even been moved out of the ICU. With various specialties actively supporting his recovery, we are confident he will make it back home in no time.
This case in particular highlights the importance of starting Cardio pulmonary resuscitation or CPR early. This is a skill that can be learnt and performed by anyone. It is a technique of rhythmically compressing the chest and artificially pumping blood containing precious oxygen to the victim’s brain. A victim brought in with ongoing CPR by a bystander stands a good chance of surviving the event as the brain will be preserved till professional help can restore the underlying causes and restore normal cardiac function.
This victim is fortunate to have been close to the hospital, prompt action on the spot by his colleagues and the police preserved his life and brought him to an emergency department capable of conducting an advanced resuscitation and ultimately resulting in his survival.”
Sakra World Hospital is a champion to the cause of BYSTANDER CPR and regularly conducts training programs and public education drives on the same. It is encouraged that each and every citizen of India learns how to perform CPR on the spot and preserve lives of victim of sudden cardiac arrest till professional help is available.