Dead Certain

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Dead Certain

Synopsis

EPISODE 21 Tue 6 Aug
"If we do get to somebody in time after they've reached that traditional threshold of death, we can bring them back." – Dr Sam Parnia, intensive care physician.

Meet The Guests

Colin Fiedler

Colin Fiedler suffered a cardiac arrest and was 'dead’ for at least 40 minutes with no pulse. He became the first person in Australia to be brought back to life by the new resuscitation practice being trialled at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne. Colin didn’t suffer any brain damage.

Cassandra Scott

Cassandra Scott had an epileptic seizure while swimming at Coogee beach last December. When bystanders eventually dragged her from the water she had no pulse, had turned blue and was 'dead’. A lifeguard gave her CPR and an emergency doctor, who happened to be on the beach at the time, gave her a large dose of oxygen. It worked. Cassandra was 'brought back to life’. She says she 'chose" to live and had some self-awareness during the ordeal.

Wendy Veitch

Wendy Veitch’s brother Trevor Dodgson had a heart attack at the age of 51 while at an AFL match. He was resuscitated despite not breathing for 30 minutes. However, he sustained significant brain damage and is now in a nursing home. Wendy spends much of her life looking after Trevor and wonders why he was resuscitated after such a long time. She has told her husband that she does not want to be resuscitated in similar circumstances.

Sam Parnia

Dr Sam Parnia is a British doctor and a critical care physician in New York who specialises in bringing his patients 'back from the dead’. He says resuscitation techniques are outdated and are wasting lives that could be saved. Sam is also interested in near death experiences. He is heading up a study called AWARE which examines the relationship between mind and brain during death.

Stephen Bernard

Professor Stephen Bernard is leading a new resuscitation practice being trialled at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne. Stephen has looked closely at resuscitation and brain cooling and has spent time in Japan studying techniques there. He is a senior intensive care physician at The Alfred.