KK could have been saved if CPR was performed on time, says doctor; all about the life-saving procedure

Singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, who died on May 31 owing to a massive cardiac arrest after a concert in Kolkata could have been saved had he been administered CPR on time, a doctor who conducted the autopsy told PTI.

“He had a major blockage in the left main coronary artery and small blockages in various other arteries and sub-arteries. Excessive excitement during the live show caused stoppage of blood flow leading to cardiac arrest that claimed his life,” the medical practitioner told the news agency on condition of anonymity.

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The doctor added that excessive excitement stopped blood flow for a few moments resulting in an irregular heartbeat for a very short time. “As a result, KK fell unconscious and had a cardiac arrest. If CPR had been given immediately, the artiste could have been saved,” he said.

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Here’s what to know about CPR in case of sudden cardiac arrest

In sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — an abrupt sensation of cardiac functioning — the heart stops suddenly. It happens without a warning, triggered by an electrical malfunction which stops the heart from pumping blood to the body.

Dr Jitendra S Makkar, cardiologist, electrophysiologist, Eternal Hospital, Jaipur, said that SCA leads to sudden death if not intervened within the first six minutes. “The human heart beats at 60-100 beats per minute and any fluctuation in this rate — either too slow (bradycardia) or too fast (tachycardia) — is referred to as cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). Those experiencing a sudden increase in heart rate or those who are genetically prone to heart diseases may experience a fatal arrhythmia or SCA,” he explained.


Weakness, palpitations, no pulse, no breathing, loss of consciousness, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath.

What role does cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR play?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a first-aid process to revive a person who is having an episode of SCA. It is an emergency life-saving procedure performed if the heart stops beating, which can also happen due to heart attack, stroke, electrocution, drowning etc. This is done until medical assistance arrives.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation, what is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, what does CPR do, when is CPR needed, CPR and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), indian express news CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed if the heart stops beating. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

“If CPR is not given, the person may become brain dead in three to four minutes owing to a lack of oxygen. While you wait for an ambulance, you may keep the brain and other organs alive by administering CPR. Although there is generally enough oxygen in the blood to keep the brain and other organs alive for a few minutes, it does not circulate until CPR is performed. Some of the causes for cardiac arrest in adults are heart disease, trauma, respiratory illness, and hanging. In children, its due to SIDS, cardiac disease, trauma, respiratory illness,” explained Dr Mohammed Imran Soherwardi, Consultant – Emergency Medicine, Aster RV Hospital.

Dr Makkar added that CPR helps restart the breathing process and heartbeat if performed correctly.

Before beginning CPR, check to see if the person responds to verbal or physical stimuli.

Steps to perform CPR on adults:

*Place a hand’s heel on the person’s breastbone in the centre of their chest. Interlock your fingers with your second hand on top of your first.

*Make sure your shoulders are higher than your hands.

*Press straight down on their chest for 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) using your whole weight (not just your arms).

*Release the compression and let the chest to return to its natural position while keeping your hands on their chest.

*Repeat at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions each minute until an ambulance comes.

CPR with rescue breaths

Press down 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) at a constant speed of 100 to 120 compressions per minute with one hand’s heel on the person’s chest, then the other on top. After every 30 chest compressions, take two rescue breaths.

*Gently tilt the victim’s head back and lift the chin with two fingers. Pinch the person’s nose. Seal your mouth over theirs for about 1 second, blowing steadily and firmly into their mouth. Make sure their chest rises. Take two rescue breaths. Continue doing 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths in a cycle until they start to feel better or emergency aid comes.

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