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Cardiac Arrest and coma... Please help!!!!

My mom age 54 was of great weight and health, she did have rheumatic fever as a child and was currently taking anti depressants and gabapentin. She never had any warning signs. She felt a little dizzy and went to the ER.. The nurse went to get a bed pan and my Mom had a sudden cardiac arrest, her heart stopped. They started life saving measuresand it took 20 minutes to get her back. They said all that time she suffered severe brain damage from lack of oxygen.She coded in the ER. I blame myself and I blame the ddoctors for not doing enough. I am I'm in my 20s and my last living relative my grandpa passed away.I don't know my Dad. I am very young and left to make all these  decisions.My mom is literally all I have and we were close like best friends. I'm devastated. She is in a coma and has been for 3 months. They tell me there is little to no hope in recovery. That she is going to be a vegetable. I refuse to take her off the support,, I feel it's too soon... She can only open her eyes and they have her running on cpap mode on the respirator. She can't follow commands. Any suggestions? Is there a chance for recovery? The head respirator tech said that sometimes the brain heals itself slowly. They can't tell me if her heart stopped from a seizure, heart attack, stroke, etc... Then the belongings she brought with her to the DR was stolen including her jewelry. I broke down and cried hard, that was most of what I have left of her. Her clothes, perfume, license, jewelry, everything.
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1756321 tn?1547095325
Sorry to hear that. Lack of oxygen is a non traumatic brain injury. From the info below, the recovery rate is 14% at the one year mark. But there are therapies that may help. I added some info from the Brain Foundation on this. And as you mention your mother was on antidepressants, that has to be taken into consideration as a cause of cardiac arrest.

Excerpt from Brain Foundation - Vegetative State (Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome)....

"Pharmacological therapy mainly uses activating substances such as tricyclic antidepressants or methylphenidate (Dolce et al. 2002). Surgical methods (eg. deep brain stimulation) are used infrequently due to the invasiveness of the procedures. Stimulation techniques include sensory stimulation, sensory regulation, music and musicokinetic therapy, social-tactile interaction, etc.

While not empirically validated, families have reported benefits from arousal regimes, such as those implemented by Dr Ted Freeman (eg Coma Arousal Therapy). The therapy involves family members taking the patient through a regimen of controlled auditory, visual and physical stimulation for up to six hours a day every day.

Prognosis (outlook for recovery)

Many patients emerge spontaneously from VS/UWS within a few weeks (Jennett, 2007). The chances of recovery depend on the extent of injury to the brain and age, with younger patients having a better chance of recovery than older patients. Generally, adults have a circa 50 percent chance and children a 60 percent chance of recovering consciousness from VS/UWS within the first 6 months in the case of traumatic brain injury.

For non-traumatic injuries such as strokes, the recovery rate falls to 14% at one year (Jennett, 2002). After this period the chances that VS/UWS patient will regain consciousness are very low and, of those patients who do recover consciousness, most experience significant disability. The longer a patient is in VS/UWS the more severe the resulting disabilities are likely to be."


Increased risk of cardiac arrest associated with the use of TCA and SSRI antidepressants...

"A new Danish study (1) has found an increased risk of cardiac arrest associated with treatment with TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) or SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) (2).

The study found no association between increased risk of cardiac arrest and the use of SNRI antidepressants (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) or NaSSA antidepressants (noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants)."
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Avatar universal
there is always a chance. with that said i dont want to give you false hope. twenty minutes is a long time without oxygen. i lost my mother on Thanksgiving. its not an easy choice to make at any age.I am so very sorry. it is a choice you will have to make.Dont beat yourself up, you have been through enough. you know the right thing to do. I would talk to the chaplin
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