Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Hi everyone... - British Heart Fou...

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Carolinedahab profile image

Hi everyone, really looking for some positive outcomes here.

My brother in law suffered sudden cardiac arrest on Friday evening. He was receiving CPR for 20 minutes before the paramedics arrived and an in-work defibrillator was also used. He’s been in intensive care in a medically induced coma since then. The medical staff have attempted to reduce the drug (anaesthetic I believe) which is keeping him in a deep coma, a couple of times. However, almost as soon as they do this he begins to have seizures. Has anyone one here gone through anything similar with a positive outcome. It’s heartbreaking to see him like this. They have 2 sons too age 12 and 14. Any feedback wouid be so welcome at this time. Thank you x

12 Replies
skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star


Firstly I am so sorry to hear this, and this probably isn't enough comfort but he is in the right place. Below is a link to a similar issue, which may help some.

All the best


Thank you so much, Mark

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

I know two people who arrested and both were out for 24 - 48 hours (drugs probably playing a part). However, my girlfriend's nephew was in a coma for a few weeks after developing sepia from an inner ear infection. Every time they tried to bring him round he would start thrashing around and was put back under. One day he did not and the road to recovery started. So there is hope.

Dear Caroline.

What an absolutely awful time you and the family must be having.

My partner aged 56 had two cardiac arrests last December. I am a trained professional and administered CRP until the ambulance got to us. He was transferred to the Cardiac ITU, then CCU and finally to a cardiology specialist unit. After three weeks he had recovered enough to have an implanted defibrillator. He was home a few weeks and had a further event and seizure. Another stay in hospital but again recovered.

We are now 10 months on and he has recovered well and returned to almost normal living. We have just enjoyed our third holiday since all this happened.

We know we are the lucky ones and we hope you have a good outcome for his family.

All best wishes and please let us know how he is doing.


I had a similar event in May 2016 an unexpected SCA whilst travelling on a train. Fortunately another passenger administered CPR until paramedics arrived and I spent 3 weeks in hospital. Similar happenings to your brother in law, induced coma, complications arising when attempts made to bring me out of coma but finally successful. During this difficult time the delivered prognosis was pretty dire but thankfully the outcome was different. I was too poorly to have any surgery work but later had an ICD implant. After 3 weeks I was discharged and 7 months later had a quad bypass by this time however I was much improved and stronger. I was always active, reasonably fit, healthy weight, non smoker etc which according to the surgeon has help me make a good recovery from the most frightening time of my life.

Although at the moment it can seem like there is a mountain to climb please do not despair for once the improvement process starts then each day may slowly bring the little gains which will be so welcome to all.

My best wishes go to your brother in law for a good and complete recovery which may take some time but it is well worth it. Best wishes once again . . .

Thank you for this - very helpful and offers some hope

Hello again James - when you said the prognosis was pretty dire, what were your family told? My sister was told that there is extensive brain damage and that he won’t recover. Just looking for some hope at this point. Thank you and so pleased you came through such an awful experience.

Hi Caroline so sorry to read your latest update. My experience was briefly, an out of hospital SCA followed by difficulties when attempts were made to bring me out of induced coma. This resulted in 2 heart attacks whilst in hospital. The prognosis was some brain damage accompanied by damage to heart, tests also revealed severe blockage to main arteries which couldn't be operated on at that time. My family were called and spent the next 3/4 days in hospital with me . Following a tracheostomy op things improved with regards to bringing me round from induced coma. I remained in ICU for approx 12 days then was moved to CCU for another 10 days during which time I received an ICD implant before being discharged. My recovery continued surprisingly well exceeding all my family's expectations. I can only hope and pray that things also turn out similarly for your brother-in-law. All my best wishes go to you and your family . . .

Thank you so much. I am so happy for you that you have recovered so well.

God bless xx

I've been through this with my partner , cardiac arrest sudden 20-30 mins no oxygen extensive brain damage according to scans etc . So don't lose hope . We also had the ' talk' extensive brain damage will never recover etc he had multi organ problems too and at one time we were planning his funeral ! ,A dnr on his notes is still in place . However he's a fighter and his body is waking up . So hold on to hope . We are 4 months past injury. They say it takes good few months to even notice a small movement . Let alone a hello out of them . I'm still hanging on there as yesterday he made his first attempt at scratching himself and physically turned his own body in sleep . Play music we use bilateral beats . Bring in his daily wash gels soaps aftershave etc. And offer him a drop of his fav taste on tip of his tongue. This really helps awaken mind smell and taste.

Hugs to your family X

Hi everyone

Thank you for all your replies.

The latest news is there is swelling on the brain and possible brain damage. He is still having seizures and the most recent bombshell is that they want to move him from Barts to another ICU. This I would imagine isn't ideal. I wouldn't imagine this would do him any good whatsoever. Does anyone here have any experience of this. Can the next of kin block this. Barts is a great hospital and the level of care has been outstanding. Surely moving a critically ill patient is unadvisable? Help!


I had a cardiac arrest my wife and friend saved until ambulance arrived. I was in Spain i don't remember a thing just waiting up in hospital.

On my return to England i contacted my cardiologist it was August 2018 .

On the 23rd of August had a dual system fitted in my chest ie pacemaker/defibrillator. Not a problem since .

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