Resurrection Monday, May 17 2010 

A three-year-old girl fell into an icy fishpond in a small Austrian town in the Alps. She was lost beneath the surface for thirty minutes before her parents found her on the pond bottom and pulled her up. Following instructions from an emergency physician on the phone, they began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A rescue team arrived eight minutes later. The girl had a body temperature of sixty-six degrees, and no pulse. Her pupils were dilated and did not react to light, indicating that her brain was no longer working.

But the emergency technicians continued CPR anyway. A helicopter took her to a nearby hospital, where she was wheeled directly to an operating room. A surgical team put her on a heart-lung bypass machine. Between the transport time and the time it took to plug the inflow and outflow lines into the femoral vessels of her right leg, she had been lifeless for an hour and a half. By the two-hour mark, however, her body temperature had risen almost ten degrees, and her heart began to beat. It was her first organ to come back.

After six hours, her core temperature reached 98.6 degrees. The team tried to put her on a breathing machine, but the pond water had damaged her lungs too severely for oxygen to reach her blood. So they switched her to an artificial-lung system known as ECMO—extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The surgeons opened her chest down the middle with a power saw and sewed lines to and from the ECMO unit into her aorta and her beating heart. The team moved the girl into intensive care, with her chest still open and covered with plastic foil. A day later, her lungs had recovered sufficiently for the team to switch her from ECMO to a mechanical ventilator and close her chest. Over the next two days, all her organs recovered except her brain. A CT scan showed global brain swelling, which is a sign of diffuse damage, but no actual dead zones. So the team drilled a hole into the girl’s skull, threaded in a probe to monitor her cerebral pressure, and kept that pressure tightly controlled by constantly adjusting her fluids and medications. For more than a week, she lay comatose. Then, slowly, she came back to life.

First, her pupils started to react to light. Next, she began to breathe on her own. And, one day, she simply awoke. Two weeks after her accident, she went home. Her right leg and left arm were partially paralyzed. Her speech was thick and slurry. But by age five, after extensive outpatient therapy, she had recovered her faculties completely. She was like any little girl again.

(Taken from Dr. Atul Gawande ‘s article The Checklist in The New Yorker)

Backhoe Fade Wednesday, Feb 6 2008 

Backhoe Fade is a new word that I’ve learned in connection with the disruption of Internet services in this part of the world since the end of January, caused by underwater cable cuts near Alexandria and elsewhere.

On 30th and 31st Jan, I experienced the outage: It was very difficult to access Gmail and I couldn’t access Multiply for a day. Of course, some other web pages were not loading or unbearably slow.

When the service was almost back to normal, unfortunately for me my connection was snapped because of a local “backhoe fade’ for one night and most of the next day.

It looked like a conspiracy!

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A Tale of Woe Thursday, Dec 7 2006 

Link to Congoo

Since I prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer and Ff has a huge no. of add-ons/extensions available to customize it and enhance the browsing experience, I always try to find out about new add-ons/extensions.

Last week I came across CongooNetpass. After reading a review I installed it and signed up. But there was a bait: recommend the thing to friends; if anyone signs up and starts using CongooNetpass, a six month subscription to Libraryo.com will be yours for free.

I betrayed a friend.

I was happy to see a congratulation message in my mailbox from Congoo along with my free id and pw to log in to Librayo.com.

But, folks the id and pw didn’t work!

I’m rewarded!

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