WXIA-TV Channel 11 in Atlanta reports an amazing story about a man in recurrent ventricular fibrillation:
The fact that McClatchey got to the hospital alive was amazing enough. What happened next made medical history.
“He was so unstable that he would literally be shocked, go back into regular rhythm ong enough to start to wake up and then he would fibrillate again, and lose consciousness and we’d have to shock him again,” Dr. Wilmer said.
In the first hour, McClatchey’s heart stopped 50 times and he could see it coming. “I remember seeing the heart monitor. It’s kind of amazing to watch your own heart… And you know you have about three or four seconds before you’re gonna black out,” he said.
Dr. Wilmer and his team had never seen anything like this before. “We really were sort of thinking on the go — how can we save this man’s life? — We’ve tried all of the proven therapies, he’s not living, so let’s take a chance, let’s take a step [and] see if we can advance the science,” he said.
They would simultaneously be checking McClatchey’s heart for damage, while trying to stabilize it and while shocking it back into rhythm.
McClatchey died a hundred times on November 20h and was shocked so frequently and so severely that he sustained second degree burns to his chest.
“You just keep shocking him because you realize that if you don’t shock him back into a regular rhythm, you’re gonna lose him,” Dr. Wilmer said.
McClatchey, fortunately, was brought back each time.
Good for him.