Doctors have described a toddler whose body was revived after 101 minutes of CPR as “extraordinary.”
Gardell Martin had no pulse and was not breathing when he was discovered by neighbours after falling into a freezing creek in Union County, Pennsylvania.
The 22-month-old boy had gone outside to play with two of his brother on 11 March when he fell into the stream that runs through the family’s garden in town of Mifflinburg and was swept away by the strong current.
He was found by a neighbour nearly a quarter of a mile away, caught up in a tree branch.
The ambulance crew who arrived minutes later found no pulse and instigated CPR which continued, unbroken, for 101 minutes in the ambulance, at a local hospital, on a medical helicopter and, finally, in the pediatric wing of the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Gardell was suffering from profound hypothermia when he arrived at Geisinger which apparently worked to his advantage, dramatically slowing his metabolism and giving his organs “some degree of protection from cardiac arrest” according to Dr Frank Maffei, director of pediatric intensive care at the hospital.
Knowing this, he ordered CPR to continue whilst the team slowly warmed the body and, when Gardell reached around 28 degrees, a pulse was detected and he regained consciousness hours later.
His brain also showed no signs that it had been affected by the cardiac arrest.
His mother, Rose Martin, described the event as “an act of God.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind it’s a miracle. God had the right people in the right place at the right time and they all did a wonderful job.”
Dr Maffei said: “It’s not extraordinarily rare that we got the kid back, but what’s even more extraordinary is the rate at which he recovered and the completeness of his recovery.”Reuse content