Definition An über rare phenomenon of unclear nature in which a person “awakes” after being regarded by his/her carers as dead. It may occur in patients who have been clinically dead and then either resuscitated or there has been a spontaneous return of circulation after attempts to resuscitate failed.
Patients typically report a continuity of subjective experience and may recall visitors and other hospital events despite virtually complete suppression of cortical activity.
There are only 38 cases documented in the medical literature. The image is of Rembrandt’s The Raising of Lazarus, an oil-on-panel painting from early in his career, possibly in the late 1620s, which depicts Lazarus in the Gospel of John, Chapter 11. The work is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Synonyms Autoresuscitation after failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Lazarus complex, Lazarus syndrome