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Resuscitation Innovations Re-Defining Death

Dr Mamoun Abu Habsa
BOLDtalks 2017

Conventional thinking continues to view death from the perspective of cessation of heart activity and absence of signs of life. Whilst survivors of severe traumatic brain injuries paused a challenged to this notion and reasonably broad acceptance of the concept of brainstem death, there remains a somewhat arbitrary focus on cessation of heart activity as as the endpoint of life.

Dr Abu-Habsa will invite the audience to consider a scenario whereby immediately following cessation of cardiac activity or in medical terms “Cardiac Arrest”, the patient is placed on a portable artificial heart – wherever they happen to be, within minutes of cardiac arrest and prior to onset of significant brain damage raising the possibility of a conscious patient, fully conversant or even watching TV with no ongoing cardiac activity. Such a scenario sounds like a scene out of Sci-Fi thriller but Dr Abu-Habsa will attempt to persuade us otherwise.

A Consultant in Critical Care and Resuscitation, Mamoun is an operational physician on the reputable Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in South East England (KSS). His training spanned London and Oxford Universities as well as the US and Canada. Mamoun trained in Surgery, Emergency Medicine and Critical Care prior to his Consultant appointment at the high profile Royal London Hospital. An inventor, author of multiple scientific papers and international speaker, he was honoured in 2012 with a Diamond Jubilee medal from HM Queen Elizabeth (II) for several years of service to the UK Emergency Services. His professional and academic interests include complex multi-organ support for critically ill patients, Field Medicine and clinical development of modern resuscitation techniques. He remains one of a handful of doctors in the world to have delivered artificial heart and lung support in the field.

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