“I am alive and breathing.” Michael Knapinski, a 45-year-old hiker, still can’t believe his luck after being “technically dead” for 45 minutes. The man was lost last week during heavy snowfall on Mount Rainier in Washington state. When found by Navy troops, he was apparently lifeless.
“He came back from the dead”, has indicated to the chain CNN Jenelle Badulak, a doctor in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center, who has remarked that “it was not a miracle, it was science.”
As Badulak explained, when Knapinski arrived at the emergency room “he was unconscious, he had extreme hypothermia and his heart stopped shortly after arriving“However, as he did not present significant injuries, the medical team decided to practice the ECMO technique (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation System), in which the specialized cardiopulmonary bypass machine draws blood from the body and passes it through an oxygenator before pumping it again.
As Badulak has pointed out, the doctors chose to use this technique because Knapinski’s organs were so cold from the freezing conditions that could work with less oxygen, which essentially means buying time for doctors to restart the heart. After 45 minutes they made Knapinski’s blood flow again.
However, “the main concern was your brain and if there had been any permanent damage while his heart was stopped, “said Dr. Badulak.
Fortunately, two days after that intervention, Knapinski woke up. “I did not understand what had happened,” he said this week from his hospital bed in statements to the WPVI-TV channel. “Am very grateful to everyone here at the hospital for not giving up on me. I am alive and breathing, “he added.
Finally, after spending eight days in the hospital, Knapinski has already been discharged. “Michael’s caseIt’s not CommonHe will live for decades, “Badulak said.