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Lazarus syndrome is the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts at resuscitation. Its occurrence has been noted in medical literature at least 25 times since 1982. Also called Lazarus phenomenon, it takes its name from the biblical story of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus.
One example is a 61-year-old woman from Delaware, USA, who was given "multiple medicines and synchronized shocks", but never regained a pulse. She was declared dead but was discovered in the morgue to be alive and breathing.
Another case is a 66-year-old man suffering from a suspected abdominal aneurysm. During treatment for this condition, the patient suffered cardiac arrest and received chest compressions and defibrillation shocks for 17 minutes. Vital signs did not return; the patient was declared dead and resuscitation efforts ended. Ten minutes later, the surgeon felt a pulse. The aneurysm was successfully treated and the patient fully recovered with no lasting physical or neurological problems.