Doctor At UCLA Has Had Some Success Reviving Cardiac Arrest Patients

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It wasn't able to save Michael Jackson -- but the hospital where he was taken is known for reviving others who've gone into cardiac arrest.

A surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center has pioneered a way to save people who might have been written off by most doctors -- including a woman whose heart had stopped for 2 and a half hours.

The method was tested on a few dozen cardiac arrest patients, and 80 percent survived. Usually, more than 80 percent die.

The UCLA expert, Dr. Gerald Buckberg, wasn't personally involved in Jackson's treatment, and it's impossible to know whether Jackson could have been saved. But he says results in other patients show an opportunity for "new thinking" about how long people can be without a heartbeat and still be resuscitated.

Buckberg hasn't been saving people who are long dead. The people who were saved in his study got quick help. And the reason they suffered cardiac arrest was known and could be fixed. In most cases, blocked arteries caused a heart attack.

The people he helped had also been given prompt CPR to maintain blood pressure. And a heart-lung machine was used to keep blood and oxygen moving through the body. Otherwise, patients might suffer brain damage.

Doctors in Asia have had good results with similar approaches.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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