UAE: Woman suffers cardiac arrests after extreme grief, saved

The 70-year-old travelled to Emirates to visit her daughter, who lost her hand in a car accident


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 3:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 10:44 PM

A 70-year-old visitor to the UAE suffered from multiple heart stoppages as she grappled with what doctors called “severe grief”. Medical experts at Kuwait Hospital in Sharjah saved the life of the Asian visitor after she experienced sudden cardiac arrests.

The septuagenarian had travelled to the UAE to visit her daughter, who lost her hand in a car accident. “Stricken with profound grief, the woman suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. She was swiftly transported to the emergency department at Kuwait Hospital in Sharjah, where doctors administered life-saving CPR.

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"Subsequent medical tests and heart monitoring uncovered a severe heart attack, a rapid decline in circulation, and a sharp drop in blood pressure, necessitating urgent response and immediate medical intervention to save her life,” said Emirates Health Services, which manages Kuwait Hospital.

According to Dr Karim Mustafa, cardiology consultant and head of the Emergency Department at the hospital, the “timely decision” to administer clot-busting agents and transfer the patient to the catheterisation unit within two hours of symptom onset “played a crucial role in saving her life”.

Dr Ahmed Khaled Alalawi, internal medicine specialist, said the patient's age compounded the severity of her condition. After cardiopulmonary resuscitation, she was placed on a ventilator. She was then transferred to the intensive care unit.

She began to recover the following day, showing responses by moving her hands and opening her eyes. Once she regained consciousness, she was taken off the ventilator.

Several studies have found grief to be a risk factor for cardiac events. Last year, researchers at the University of Arizona found that “severe grief can cause a marked rise in blood pressure” — highlighting the physical implications of having a ‘broken heart’.


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