UAE: Pakistani expat collapses after cardiac arrest, doctors save life with 30-minute CPR

An emergency angioplasty was performed as the patient had arrhythmia


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 7 Nov 2022, 2:46 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Nov 2022, 5:00 PM

Doctors have revived a man who had no pulse and stopped breathing, by giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for more than 30 minutes to bring back his life from the jaws of death.

An emergency angioplasty was performed too as the patient had arrhythmia, i.e., abnormal heart rhythm.

Pakistani expat Bashrat Ali Khan, who works as a technician in a private company in Abu Dhabi, develops chills while recollecting the day when he was out on a delivery with his driver and suddenly developed discomfort in chest and felt bloated. Soon, he was sweating profusely and collapsed. The driver rushed 33-year-old Khan to urgent care of Al Ahalia Hospital on Hamdan Street. Doctors diagnosed that Khan had suffered a cardiac arrest. Immediately, a medical team led by senior anaesthesiologist Dr Manjunath started giving CPR.

“Initially he showed no response to CPR. There was no sign of pulse or return of circulation but we kept trying. Finally, after more than 30 minutes of CPR, he was brought back to life and flow of blood was restored. We also gave him 10 electrical shocks (direct current cardioversion procedure using a defibrillator), which revived his cardiac activity,” Dr Manjunath said.

Khan was swiftly taken for emergency primary angioplasty in the cardiac catheterisation lab (cath lab). The procedure was technically difficult as the patient required constant CPR, said Dr Nithin Gopalan, interventional cardiologist, who performed angioplasty along with Dr Anishkumar Nair, specialist, cardiology.

“It was difficult to get the pulse as it was non perceptible. As is common in such emergencies, a blind puncture had to be done. Angiogram revealed that he had disease in a single artery, which was totally occluded. Angioplasty had to be performed in the shortest possible time since the patient was unstable and his heart was throwing arrhythmias. Once the block was removed and the angioplasty was performed, the patient’s vital signs started stabilising,” Dr Gopalan said.

A multidisciplinary team of experts from the urgent care, cardiology, anaesthesiology and cath lab worked in cohesion. Khan was on a ventilator for a day and miraculously recovered with no neurological issues. Doctors noted that giving CPR immediately following a cardiac arrest enhanced chances of survival along with good brain function.

“Survival rate improves when CPR has been started from outside the hospital. At times, bystander CPR may mean the difference between a healthy meaningful life and death or disability,” Dr Nair said.

Khan never had a past history of chest pain nor any family history of heart disease but was a chronic smoker, which was a risk factor of an unhealthy lifestyle.


Dr Krishnan Mangalath Narayanan, consultant cardiologist and head of cardiology department, underlined that greater awareness is needed among community members about heart diseases and ways to handle such emergency situations.

“Identification and proper management of the risk factors of heart disease will help to prevent its onset and progression. Early detection of symptoms of heart attack and initiatives for training in CPR and in the use of automatic defibrillators in the general public will help to improve the survival rate.”

Dr Sangeeta Sharma, medical director, Al Ahalia Hospital, noted that the healthcare facility having a cardiac catheterisation lab, trained staff and immediate action by a multidisciplinary team of experts helped to save a crucial life.

“He is only 33-year-old. His case highlights the fact that no age is exempt from cardiac arrest and all of us need to be aware of it for ourselves, our family and the people around us and must act immediately to rush such a patient to emergency services of the nearest hospital.”

Khan is doing his follow-up checkups and appreciates the effort of the doctors in offering him a second chance at life. “I am thankful to doctors and medical staff. I am grateful to them for a new life,” Khan added.

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