Delaying brain damage in cardiac arrest victims E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

After a heart attack victim stops breathing, a process of irreversible brain damage starts to occur within 3 to 4 minutes. What if there was a way prevent brain damage - for up to an hour? Perhaps there is. While researching cardiac arrest, Philadelphia area resident Jeffrey Dobkin, read about a boy drowning in icy waters. Although submerged for over half an hour, the boy was rescued, resuscitated, and recovered completely. No brain damage.

Dobkin wondered how someone can drown, be completely submerged for over 30 minutes, then resuscitated and yet experience no brain damage. What is it that delays brain damage in cold water drowning victims? Can this be applied to heart attack victims? His research pointed to yes. Dobkin's research showed the injury that occurs to the brain from lack of oxygen (anoxia) can be delayed for up to an hour by triggering an all-natural oxygen-conserving reflex that occurs in all mammals, called the Mammalian Diving Reflex.

"The triggering of the Mammalian Diving Reflex," says Dobkin, "allows cold water drowning victims to survive for a greatly extended time period without brain damage. This oxygen-conserving reflex is responsible for delaying brain death in cold water drownings. The best news is that the specific trigger point of this reflex is the application of cold water to the face - and in particular the eyes - of the victim."

Based on his research on delaying anoxic brain injury, Dobkin advocates a simple technique to trigger this delay of brain damage in victims of cardiac arrest by immediately applying cold (58 degrees or colder) wet compresses to the face and eye area of the victim. The Dobkin Technique is an emergency time-buying procedure to delay brain damage until emergency medical personnel arrive. It works by itself, or in conjunction with CPR. Compresses are left on the victim's face and kept cold until full resuscitation efforts can be initiated by medical personnel.

The Dobkin Technique immediately starts to delay brain damage and gives emergency medical personnel a much greater window of time to respond to non-breathing victims before brain damage starts to occur. His technique works whenever the oxygen supply to the brain is shut off (Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy) such as cardiac arrest, drug overdose, choking, warm water drowning, stroke, sleep apnea, SIDS, suffocation and electrocution.

The Brain Injury Foundation was founded in 2010 to continue the research of Anoxic Encephalopathy (brain injury due to lack of oxygen) and create public awareness of how the Dobkin Technique can be used as an emergency time-buying procedure to delay the onset of brain damage and patient death of cardiac arrest victims. More information about the Dobkin Technique can be found at or contact the foundation at 610-642-1000, by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by traditional mail at P.O. Box 100, Merion Station, PA 19066.

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