The strange case of the woman who needed to be face down in order not to die

When the doctor Louis F. Janeiram He was on duty at the Terre Haute hospital in Indiana (USA), he heard screams coming from the entrance to the ER. When he came over to see what that scandal was about, he saw a rather strange scene. A man who measured more than two meters had grabbed by the ankles to his wife of five feet, hanging upside down.

"Put it down!" shouted Herb, one of the security guards. "You're hurting him," added a woman who was over there. But the man refused while saying: "I have to hold it like this, is my wife".

"I'm fine," said the woman who was suspended in midair. Then he looked with his eyes turned to the doctor and said: "Hello, Dr. Janeira, do you remember me?" Janeira tells in ‘Discover Magazine’ that she had to remember.

It was about Mary (fictitious name), a sexagenarian who had gone to the ER the day before from a complete heart block, which occurs when the electrical system that connects the atria to the ventricles fails due to scarring, infection, or a heart attack. The woman had been transferred to the operating room with her heart with less than 40 beats per minute to have a pacemaker placed.

Janeira approached the strange scene slowly and the husband said: “Everything was fine until half an hour ago, that coughed and passed out"

"But I do not understand why do you keep it upside down"Said the doctor.

The woman who was face down said: "If my sailor puts me in bed or in an upright position, I will pass out again"

"I picked her up off the floor and put her on our bed," explained the husband. "He regained consciousness for a few seconds. He tried to get up, but passed out again and fell behind the bed. I grabbed her by the ankles and she regained consciousness"

The doctor replied: "I still do not understand".

To which the woman who was face down replied: "If my sailor puts me in bed or upright, I pass out again" "We have tried four times and every time he changes position, I pass out."

"So Are you aware backwards but not rightly?"Asked the doctor. And Mary nodded vigorously.

Janeira's head quickly went to work looking for a diagnosis. Various hypotheses went through his head since there was something obstructing the flow of blood from the heart to the brain that was unblocked when it was face down; that his blood pressure was so low that blood only reached his brain when it was turned inside out; Or perhaps an accidental perforation during the pacemaker placement was filling your heart sac with blood, known as a cardiac tamponade.

The doctor asked a nurse to place electrodes on Mary's chest as her husband held her. Everything seemed correct until Janeira convinced the husband to put his wife to bed. Mary immediately lost consciousness.

"No heart rate"shouted the nurse. "Pacemaker failure. Epinephrine! ”Said the doctor. "But we don't have an IV," the nurse replied. "Stand aside," shouted the husband, who He grabbed her ankles again and Mary regained consciousness. "I'm back," she sighed.

A loose wire

At that very moment the doctor realized what was happening. The pacemaker cable was disconnected and for some reason it would reconnect when Mary was upside down.

So they opened it again to connect the cable.

According to Janeira account they needed the help of the husband to transfer his wife to the operating room. So her huge husband took her hanging to the electrophysiology laboratory, where they fixed the pacemaker failure.

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