A couple of months ago, I received a text message that hit me like a brick. It said that one of my closest friends, who is in his early twenties and in perfect health, suddenly went into cardiac arrest while running at the gym. I knew what that meant; outside of the hospital, cardiac arrest is almost universally fatal; only about 5% of people even make it to the hospital alive, and fewer than half of those survivors leave with good neurological function. I fell into my chair. Shock.
A bystander who had witnessed the event immediately started flawless CPR, an ambulance was called and arrived quickly, and my friend was defibrillated until his heart began beating properly again. He arrived at a trauma center within minutes. Everything had gone as well as it possibly could have. He was alive, and in generally good condition, but he didn’t wake up. Cardiac arrest-induced coma. A bad sign.
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