The Lazarus Phenomenon is a rare condition that occurs in someone who has failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It needs to be considered before making a death determination.


Synonym: autoresuscitation, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC)



(1) The patient experiences a cardiopulmonary arrest.

(2) Resuscitation is initiated but appears to be futile.

(3) After resuscitation is stopped there is a spontaneous return of cardiopulmonary function and the person recovers to some degree.


In some cases the discontinuation of positive pressure ventilation may be the factor that allows normal cardiovascular activity to return.


Adhiyaman et al recommend monitoring blood pressure and ECG for at least 10 minutes after a patient appears to have failed resuscitation.


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