Electrical Injury and Prolonged Cardiac Arrest: A Case Report of Complete Neurological Recovery

*Corresponding author: Uma Hariharan* and Vinoth Natarajan


Sudden cardiac arrest continues to have a high mortality rate. Out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has a poor outcome compared to those occurring in a healthcare setup due to lack of awareness and appropriate resources. The most common rhythm abnormality in OHCA is ventricular fibrillation which requires early defibrillation, ideally on the location.
Case Report
A 19-years male was witnessed by lay bystanders to have become unresponsive following contact with an electric lighting pole on the road median in Chandigarh. A passer-by medical resident detected no pulse and initiated chest compression. Since there was no immediate return of spontaneous circulation and aetiology suggested a defibrillate rhythm. The patient was taken in the car and rushed to a tertiary care centre, 10-minutes away. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was interrupted during transport for lack of adequate personnel. Ventricular fibrillation was noted and shock was delivered along with inotropes. Around 26-minutes into the resuscitation, the patient had the return of spontaneous circulation. After post-cardiac arrest care in intensive care unit (ICU), he was extubated and discharged home in 1-week with full neurological recovery.
Recovery of full neurologic function could be explained by the alternating presence of stable and unstable cardiac rhythms and in part at least brought about by immediate attempts at resuscitation. The report seeks to review these aspects of emergency care besides highlighting the need for both immediate and accurate emergency medical services such as lay responder training, public access defibrillation and responsive transport systems for such patients.
Sudden cardiac arrest; Out of hospital cardiac arrest; Ventricular fibrillation; Early defibrillation; Electrical injury.