A huge team of doctors and nurses took it in turns to perform CPR on an eight-year-old for five hours after he had acute heart failure.
Xiao Yu was admitted to Changzhou Municipal Children’s Hospital in China, where he arrived in critical condition after suffering heart failure.
According to a news release published by the hospital, the young boy had suffered a seizure due to fulminant myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.
Yu’s left ventricle nearly lost the ability to pump blood, but after a series of emergency rescue efforts, he was eventually in a stable condition.
The following morning, the eight-year-old’s condition worsened, and staff at the hospital decided to transfer the boy to Shanghai.
Hospitals there are better equipped and Yu could receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment (ECMO), a life support system which puts oxygen into the patient’s blood and helps take over the work of the heart.
As the young boy was waiting for an ambulance to transfer him, his blood pressure suddenly dropped and his heart stopped beating.
The news release explained [translated]:
On the morning of the 21st, Xiao Yu’s condition suddenly changed, heart rhythm disorder, blood pressure decreased, ventricular fibrillation, followed by convulsions, Asperger’s attack, and cardiac arrest.
After the rescue, the heartbeat of Xiao Yu recovered, but the heart rate was always unstable and the blood pressure was low.
The medical staff began trying to resuscitate the boy; a team of almost 30 doctors and nurses worked together to continue CPR for five hours.
The release continued:
September 21, 2018, for many medical staff in Changzhou Children’s Hospital, was another sleepless night that fights with death.
On such a “special” night, they tried their best to win the hope of life for the 8-year-old boy with fulminant myocarditis with 5 hours of 30,000 chest compressions! [sic]
The staff lined up to take part in the dramatic five-hour resuscitation effort, with each nurse and doctor helping to keep the child’s heart beating, while ensuring blood kept travelling to his brain, which kept him alive.
The staff were encouraged and supported by Yu’s parents throughout the ordeal:
The trust and support of parents gave great encouragement to the general medical staff. In the battlefield of the intensive care unit, it has always been the case.
As long as there is a line of vitality, it is necessary to make 100 per cent effort and try our best to strive for the hope of life for the children. This is the responsibility, and it is already a professional instinct.
Yu was eventually put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
Dr Li Yamin, who helped keep Xiao Yu alive, said he believed the team did the best they could.
Speaking to Pear Video, he said:
We did everything we could to save the boy as it would be a pity if we gave up on him. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Yu was finally moved to Shanghai, where he’s now receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.
What an incredible act of determination and teamwork from the medical staff!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.