Nov 22, 2009
A Heart Restart
A funny story from my time in family practice...there was a patient that I saw for about two weeks while he was in the hospital recovering from a cardiac arrest and technical death. I got to know him and his wife, who was a nice lady but an eccentric, rather intense individual. When I asked him about the sequence of events related to his heart attack, he said that he had been feeling chest pain and shortness of breath, and the "blacked out." His wife then took over the story, saying "And I was so mad at him! I hit him squarely on the chest and yelled "You're not going to die on me, you son of a bitch!") The punch to his chest, called "precordial thump" in medicine, restarted his heart to a normal sinus rhythm and he lived. She wasn't trying to save him, just really mad. And he lived.