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Clinically dead woman revived after 42 minutes

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Australian doctors have saved the life of a woman who was clinically dead for 42 minutes.

Vanessa Tanasio  was rushed to hospital after a major heart attack, but was declared clinically dead soon after arrival.

With the aid of a machine that kept blood flowing to her brain, doctors at Melbourne's MonashHeart managed to unblock vital arteries and return her heart to a normal rhythm.

The hospital today described her survival as "astonishing".

Doctors say Tanasio, 41, a mother of two, needed numerous defibrillator shocks, including one in the ambulance on her way to hospital.

In a telephone interview from the hospital, she said she was eager to get home.

"I'm feeling excellent. For someone who has been dead for nearly an hour of this week I am feeling tremendously well," Tanasio says.

Emergency medics used a device called LUCAS 2 to keep her blood flowing while cardiologist Dr Wally Ahmar worked to unblock the arteries to her heart.

Tanasio said she had no history of heart problems.

"This has taken me completely by surprise. I am relieved to still be here for my children," Tanasio says. "The doctors and the nurses have been awesome. The machine is awesome."

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