Lazarus Phenomenon in Medicolegal Perspective: A Case Report

  • Aykut Taner Güven
  • Gavril Petridis
  • Şeyda Şebnem Özkal
  • Ersi Abacı Kalfoglu
Keywords: Lazarus Phenomenon, Auto-resuscitation, Auto-resusciation, Forensic Medicine


Auto-resuscitation or with the common name Lazarus phenomenon is unassisted return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest. Lazarus phenomenon takes a little place in the medical literature. Doctors are reluctant to publish case reports because of apprehension of being sued due to medical malpractice. In the other hand Lazarus phenomenon is a rare and interesting topic for public media. In the forensic point of view, it’s important that if a Lazarus phenomenon is connected with medical negligence or not. All “Lasarus” case reports in the literature are informing that a time interval between declaration of death and noticing spontaneous circulation-inhalation from a few second to 33 minutes. Possibly there are no other example of 3 hours time interval between death declaration and noticing auto-resuscitation rather than in our case report.


Download data is not yet available.


Sasson C, Hegg AJ, Macy M, Park A, Kellerman A, Mc Nally B. Prehospital termination of resuscititation in cases of refractory out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. JAMA 2008:300;1432-1438

Adhiyaman V, Adhiyaman S, Sundaram R. The Lazarus phenomenon. JR Soc Med 2007:100;552-557.

Linko K, Honkavaara P, Salmenpera M. Recovary after discontinued cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Lancet 1982:1; 106-107

Hornby K, Hornby L, Shemie SD. A systematic review of auto-resuscitation after cardiac arrest. Critical Care Medicine 2010:38;1246-1253.

Cummings BM, Noviski M. Autoresuscitation in a child: The Young Lazarus. Resuscitation 2011:82;134

Adanalı M, Güvenç TS, Kale MY, Onaç S, Hüsenyinoğlu Ü, Karabağ Y, et al. Lazarus Phenomenon in a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy. Acute Med 2014; 4: 99–102.

Lazarus phenomenon and clinical practice guidelines for death diagnosis: regaining public trust in medical practice.Rady MY, Verheijde JLResuscitation. 2014 Apr; 85(4).

Braun P, Herff H, Paal P. The Lazarus Phenomenon-false positive death certifications and autoresuscitation cases covered in lay press. Resuscitation 2011:82;1363-1364.

Lazarus phenomenon: knowledge, attitude and practice.Gerard D, Vaux J, Boche T, Chollet-Xemard C, Marty JResuscitation. 2013 Dec; 84(12)

Krarup NH, Kaltolf A. Risen from the dead: A case of the Lazarus phenomenon-With considerations on the termination of treatment following cardiac in a prehospital setting. Resuscititation 2010: 81; 1598-1599.

Kamarainen A, Virkkunen I, Holopainen L, Erkkila EP, Yli-Hankola A, Tenhunen J. Spontaneous defibrillation after cessation of resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A case of Lazarus phenomenon. Resuscitation 2007:75;543-546

Maeda H, Fujita MQ, Zhu BL, Yukioka H, Shindo M, Quan L, Ishida K. Death following spontaneous recovery from cardiopulmonary arrest in a hospital mortuary: Lazarus phenomenon in a case of alleged medical negligence. Forensic Science International 2002:127;82-87.

Ben-David B, Stonebreaker VC, Hershman R, Wlliams HK. Survival after failed intra-operative resuscitation: A case of Lazarus Syndrome. Anesth Analg 2001:92;690-692.

5237 sayılı Türk Ceza Kanunu madde 89.

How to Cite
Güven A, Petridis G, Özkal Şeyda, Kalfoglu E. Lazarus Phenomenon in Medicolegal Perspective: A Case Report. atb [Internet]. 23Dec.2017 [cited 25Sep.2018];22(3):224-7. Available from:
Case Reports