Danish Man Wide Awake During Cardiac Arrest Mystifies Medical Community

CPR dummy

Case of Danish man who stayed awake during cardiac arrest still baffles doctors.

During this year’s Euroanaesthesia Conference hosted in Copenhagen, a medical specialist prevented a case worthy of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ Apparently, a 69-year-old individual in cardiac arrest remained conscious while the doctors attempted to restart his heart.

Danish Man Appeared To Have Retained Consciousness During Cardiac Arrest

On Monday, Dr. Rune Sarauw Lundsgaard of the Herlev Hospital presented a most unusual case during this year’s anesthesiology conference.

According to Lundsgaard, in 2016, a 69-year-old patient was admitted to the Herlev Hospital in cardiac arrest. The patient’s health records reveal that the man felt nauseous and had indigestion three days before being brought to the hospital.

Upon arrival, the ER physicians began life-saving procedures as the man was in cardiac arrest. Baffling enough, although the man’s heart stopped working, the patients were fully aware of what was happening to him and even moved his hands and limbs.

After 90 minutes of chest compressions, the ER doctors administered epinephrine in an attempt to restart the man’s heart. Unfortunately, seeing that there was no cardiac activity, the doctors decided to cease all life-saving maneuvers. The man was declared dead several minutes later.

Dr. Lundsgaard said that his patient was suffered an aortic dissection, meaning that his aorta has been torn to shreds. Interestingly enough, in most aortic dissection cases, death occurs in a matter of minutes.

Still, the Danish man not only managed to survive but also stay awake through the whole ordeal.


As Lundsgaard explained, the man’s case is not singular. Several medical studies pointed out that about two percent of aortic dissection patients retain consciousness during cardiac arrest.

The ER doctors involved in the case declared that the man’s eyes were wide opened, and he managed to shake his head a couple of times.

Image source: Wikipedia

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