Survival after 40 minutes; submersion without cerebral sequeae

H Siebke, T Rod, H Breivik, B Link
Lancet 1975 June 7, 1 (7919): 1275-7
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rewarming were successful in a 5-year-old boy who had been submerged for 40 minutes in ice-cold fresh water. Severe metabolic acidosis was corrected by intravenous infusion of sodium bicarbonate solution before spontaneous circulation could be re-established. Fulminant pulmonary oedema developed after re-establishment of spontaneous circulation. This was efficiently reversed by positive-end-expiratory-pressure ventilation. During 2 days of treatment of a respiratory the patient gradually regained consciousness; the endotracheal tube was then removed and the patient immediately started talking intelligently. The patient went through a period of slow cerebration and motor dysfunction but recovered rapidly, and on examination 13 months after the accident all findings were normal.

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