Snow and Avalanche Center Avalanche News - 2006

Avalanche victim 'brought back to life'
June 9, 2006 - 4:07PM

A 29-year-old man rescued from an avalanche with his heart and lungs arrested in April was revived nearly four hours later - the longest time in Japan during which a heart stopped before recovering, Shinshu University Hospital said today.

The man, a resident of Konosu, Saitama Prefecture, is expected to leave the hospital in mid-June, the hospital said, adding continuous efforts in an ambulance with the backing of concerned parties helped resuscitate him.

He was a member of a five man group of skiers hit by the avalanche on April 8 in the village of Otari, Nagano Prefecture. Three of them died, including his father, and another man descended the mountain on his own in the early hours the following day.

After being rescued around 9am on April 9, the man was taken to hospital two and a half hours later but his body temperature fell to as low as 22 degrees celsius.

He began receiving treatment with a heart-lung machine about 15 minutes after his arrival at the hospital, and his heart resumed beating about an hour later, according to the hospital.

He recovered such that he was able to speak short phrases in three weeks, and is now able to walk, speak and read, it said.


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