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Italian Teenage Boy Survives 42 Minutes Under Water

Teenage boy

A 14 year old teenage boy survived 42 minutes under water after jumping into the Naviglio canal in northern Italy.

In what is called an ‘exceptional event’ by doctors, the 14-year-old survived the incident that happened in the town of Cuggiono, west of Milan. At around 4:53pm on April 24th the teenager jumped into the canal with his friends from a bridge. He failed to resurface from the murky waters. His friends searched for him in vain.

They eventually called the emergency services who with the help of divers recovered him from the canal.

The Local Italy reports:

When the boy was finally pulled him out it was 5:35pm, 42 minutes after he had gone under water.

The teenager had gone into cardiac arrest and was taken by helicopter to San Raffaele hospital.

Doctors treated him using Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a process involving the use of an artificial lung located outside the body that puts oxygen into the blood and continuously pumps the blood through the body.

WIthin ten days he had made a full recovery, but had to have his right leg amputated below the knee due to circulation problems.

Alberto Zangrillo, director of Anaesthesia and Resuscitation at the hospital described his recovery as an “exceptional event, the kind that makes us think that some parameters regarding survival in a state of hypoxia (reduced oxygen supply to the body) must be revised.”

According to Zangrillo it was all thanks to the determination of the medics who gave the boy a cardiac massage and continued to resuscitate him in the helicopter on the way to hospital.

“Without this,” Zangrillo said, “it would have been useless.”

Quoted in La Stampa newspaper the boy’s mother described his recovery as a “miraculous event” while the boy’s father said he was “extraordinarily impressed by the professionalism” of the hospital staff.

Edmondo Burr

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