5 doctors weighed in:

During quad bypass surgery, my heart was stopped for 5 minutes - does that mean I was dead for 5 minutes?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: No....

During bypass surgery, the bypass machine takes over the work of the heart so even though the heart is stopped, the bypass machine continues to circulate the oxygenated blood throughout your body and this is what keeps you alive during the surgery.

In brief: No....

During bypass surgery, the bypass machine takes over the work of the heart so even though the heart is stopped, the bypass machine continues to circulate the oxygenated blood throughout your body and this is what keeps you alive during the surgery.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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1 comment
Dr. Michael DePietro
All death is really "brain death" so even if our heart is stopped until the lack of oxygen leads to total loss of function of the entire brain you are not dead. This is why people drowing in cold water can sometimed be saved even after being underwater for a long time, the cold protects the brain. The converse is also true you can be dead if the whole brain is destroyed, but the heart is beating
Dr. William Goldsmith
Critical Care

In brief: No

One is not dead until the brain is dead.
In addition we say you're not dead until you are warm and dead. During heart surgery the heart is stopped and the patient is cooled, after being placed on the heart lung machine. While on the bypass machine blood is circulated through the body without the heart pumping.

In brief: No

One is not dead until the brain is dead.
In addition we say you're not dead until you are warm and dead. During heart surgery the heart is stopped and the patient is cooled, after being placed on the heart lung machine. While on the bypass machine blood is circulated through the body without the heart pumping.
Dr. William Goldsmith
Dr. William Goldsmith
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