Lazarus syndrome; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; CPR; return of spontaneous circulation; autoresuscitation; resuscitation


Cardiology | Critical Care



Lazarus syndrome is defined as the spontaneous return of circulation after cessation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Though there have been multiple cases of Lazarus syndrome documented in the literature, it is a significantly underreported phenomenon with less than 100 cases reported in the literature since the first case in 1982.

Case Presentation

After elective aortic aneurysm repair, an 88-year-old with a do-not-resuscitate directive had cardiac arrest, briefly showing post-mortem respiration and pulse. Despite resuscitation efforts including pharmacological intervention and CPR, he passed away within an hour. This case highlights complexities in end-of-life care and warrants exploration of post-mortem physiological responses.


The Lazarus phenomenon, rare post-CPR circulation return, challenges resuscitation cessation. Our case, among the oldest, highlights extended monitoring necessity, especially in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Debate persists on monitoring duration after failed CPR, lacking established Lazarus syndrome prevention guidelines.