Woman defies the odds of sudden cardiac arrest
It can cause death instantly. In fact, it’s estimated 325,000 adults fall victim to sudden cardiac death in the U.S. every year.
Meet one woman who not only beat the odds but is now living her best life.
July 6, 2016 started out as a normal day of work for Anne Carlino.
“I left the restaurant and that’s all I remember,” Carlino told Ivanhoe.
No memory of driving to the hospital, collapsing outside the ER, or the police officer who found her.
Carlino detailed, “He walked over to me and I took my last breath,” said Carlino.
That’s sudden cardiac death.
“A rhythm disturbance, a rhythm disturbance with a very dangerous rhythm where the blood pressure becomes extremely low,” explained Kenneth Fromkin, MD of Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Carlino had no pulse. The police officer and ER staff worked to resuscitate her for 28 minutes.
“Typically those individuals have significant lack of oxygen to the brain, significant damage to the brain,” continued Dr. Fromkin.
Despite the odds, Dr. Kenneth Fromkin rushed Carlino into the Cardiac Cath Lab.
“I noticed that she was moving; she was moving her arms and legs,” Dr. Fromkin told Ivanhoe.
Five days after emergency surgery to open up a blocked artery Carlino woke up. Doctors say she was technically dead for more than 30 minutes but amazingly suffered no neurological deficits.
“This was definitely one of the most remarkable cases I’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Fromkin.
Carlino even got to thank her hero, Steve Barreto, the police officer who saved her life.
Carlino said, “I got to give him a great big hug and thank him. I mean it meant the world to me.”
July 6, 2016 is Carlino’s new birthday. She said, “I’m starting all over again.” And it’s a rare second chance at life.
Carlino’s sudden cardiac death was caused by a blocked artery that caused a heart attack.
Dr. Fromkin said in most cases it’s caused by an electrical disturbance that affects heart function and will cause sudden death unless emergency treatment is given immediately.
That’s why he says it’s so important for everyone to learn CPR. For more information please visit https://my.clevelandclinic.org.