Sunday, August 25, 2013

When is a Dead Man Really Dead?

Tony Yahle had been dead for 45 minutes, and hospital staff at Kettering Medical Center were preparing to move his body to the morgue.  Then his son stepped up and said, “Dad, you’re not going to die today.”  At that second, Yahle’s heart began to beat.  Doctors are at a loss to explain his sudden recovery.

It began when Yahle’s family realized he was not breathing and had no pulse.  They performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but all efforts to revive him failed.  He was rushed to Kettering Medical Center with no heartbeat or other vital signs.  Doctors spent 45 minutes trying to revive him before declaring him dead.  It was then that his 17-year-old son shouted, “Dad, you’re not going to die today.”

At that point, Yahle’s heart monitor started showing up tiny electrical signals once or twice a minute.  His
cardiologist noticed them and renewed efforts to revive his patient.  Gradually, Yahle’s heart rate began to increase.  Finally, the cardiologist was able to say that Yahle would live through the bizarre incident.

Yahle later was transferred to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.  He woke up five days later.
Eventually he was allowed to go home to rest and recover.  When asked, the 37-year-old Yahle said he was feeling fine and planned to return to work the following Monday.

Interestingly enough, as I was preparing this article, I ran across stories of two other people, a man and a woman, who had also suddenly revived after having been declared dead by medical personnel.  Both had been dead approximately 45 minutes. 

Ordinarily, when oxygen to the brain has been cut off for a much shorter period of time than 45 minutes, there is significant brain damage.  In each of these three cases, the victims did not seem to experience obvious damage to their brains.  Is there some sort of “magic window” at 45 minutes in which some people can be restored with minimal or no damage? 

If you’d like a little more information, you’ll find it here:

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