A Man Played Video Games Nonstop For 73 Hours. This Is How His Organs Shut Down.

A Man Played Video Games Nonstop For 73 Hours. This Is How His Organs Shut Down.

August 15, 2019 99 By Bertrand Dibbert


A Man Played Video Games Nonstop for 73 hours. This is how his organs shut down. DC is a 25 year old man, presenting to the
emergency room, dead on arrival. Paramedics were desperately performing chest
compressions to try and push blood back into his brain. To try and push blood into his organs. To try to keep him alive. But it seemed like their attempts, were all
in vain. DC was a college graduate, but he never wanted
to go to school. He worked a minimum wage job, but he was recently
fired. He wanted to be an internet video game streamer,
but no one was watching. And he lived at home with his mom where she
still cooked for him, but she kicked him out when he was no longer going out to look for
a new job. Depressed and lost, DC binged on video games
at the local internet cafe for days at a time. Sometimes he’d sleep at the computer, and
wake up to play some more. He gave up personal hygiene. He gave up friendships. His life was games. He was obsessed, and he just couldn’t stop
playing. One weekend, DC played for 73 hours, nonstop. Glued to his seat, he barely ate any food. He hardly drank any water. He didn’t even get up to use the bathroom,
having already released a few times in-between, and finally couldn’t hold it in anymore. He got up for the first time in days as he
stood up from his chair. He suddenly felt lightheaded. He blacked out. And then instantly collapsed. At the front desk of the internet cafe, the
owner was oblivious to the fact that someone had fainted on his property. 30 minutes pass and DC was found on the floor,
unconscious and struggling to breathe. 911 is called. In the ambulance, DC suddenly flatlines. His heart stops beating and he stops breathing. Paramedics desperately begin CPR as he’s
brought to the emergency room where we are now. Doctors continue chest compressions. Ultrasound immediately reveals that the right
side of his heart is swollen. It’s larger than the left ventricle, which
is the part of the heart that’s responsible for pumping blood to the entire body. The left ventricle has more muscle so it’s
largest part of the heart in every normal functioning human. But DC can’t function normally now. His heart is twisted. It’s disfigured. This immediately tells the medical team that
he’s suffering from Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism. Embolus from Ancient Greek meaning a wedge,
or in this case referring to a blood clot. Pulmonary meaning Lung. And Massive referring not to size of the actual
clot but to the SUDDEN hemodynamic collapse that it caused in DC. A blood clot wedged into the lungs causing
his heart to disfigure. Causing his heart to stop beating because
it is disfigured. Causing his organs to shut down because they’re
no longer receiving oxygen due to the fact his heart has stopped beating. Acute meaning that he didn’t have any underlying
medical issues leading to this problem, except for sitting at a computer playing video games
nonstop for 73 hours. Doing anything nonstop for 70 hours is dangerous,
but sitting down nonstop for 70 hours is deadly, because of venous stasis. This is a time when a lack of movement of
the legs causes blood to pool. The blood pressure in the body’s veins is
already low because there isn’t anything directly pumping it back to the heart. Venous blood oozes its way back. Without moving the legs for 70 hours and given
that sitting down compresses the veins, a compartment of the body where blood flow is
already slower than normal, then this pooling of blood causes some of it to clump together
into a clot, called a deep vein thrombosis, which is what happened to DC as he sat there,
for days, but there’s more. As the clot formed, it stayed in his legs
for as long as he was sitting down. He got up, it broke off, it went directly
into the right side of his heart like how blood normally does, but then lodged itself
directly into the pulmonary artery where the right side of the heart connects to the lungs. This back up of blood into the right ventricle,
caused it to stretch. To distend. To disfigure. But this is only the beginning of the dysfunction. The right ventricle of the heart typically
has a thinner wall than the left. It has a lower volume to surface area ratio. This makes sense because blood from here goes
directly to the lungs. You don’t need high pressure going to the
lungs when they are right there. But when the right ventricle swells due to
flow backing up, wall stress increases. It pushes against the interventricular septum,
causing it to bow out into the left ventricle. This increased pressure and volume in the
right displaces the left, reducing cardiac output. In DC’s case of hemodynamic collapse secondary
to massive pulmonary embolism, an occlusion into the pulmonary artery meant a filling
defect on the left as blood cannot be pumped out to the rest of the body. There is no longer an adequate oxygen supply
in his body as his organs all start to die. His heart, while still trying to beat, can
no longer function. It arrests, as he comes into the emergency
room, without a pulse. But it wasn’t like this when they found
him. Paramedics tell the medical team that DC was
found gasping for air. That he did have a heartbeat when they found
him, but it was fast, from his body detecting hypoxemia, a low oxygen presence in blood. His blood pressure was low from the then hemodynamic
compromise. And that it was on the way to the emergency
room that his heart suddenly stopped beating. That all of this happened just minutes ago,
meaning that it might not yet be too late. There might still be a chance to bring DC
back to life. Is there a way, we can somehow remove the
clot from DC’s lungs? Maybe. But it has to be done, immediately. Surgery and cutting him open to pull it out,
isn’t an option because it would take too long. Guiding a catheter through his veins to direct
medicine that can dissolve the clot directly, is also not an option because of time. The quickest solution, is to infuse that medicine
directly into his entire body. This systemic fibrinolytic therapy, is his
last hope. On the emergency room bed, DC is immediately
infused with a large bolus dose of lytic as chest compressions are continued. Additional lytic was set for infusion over
time as this aggressive dosing means the medical team will continue CPR until he either comes
back to life, or it is absolutely certain that DC is lost. As the chest compressions are desperately
applied, minutes pass. A detectable heart beat is found and this
return of spontaneous circulation is a good sign. DC is not lost. But several hours pass, and he doesn’t regain
consciousness. Admission into the intensive care unit finds
that he is missing cognitive factors. Shining a light into his eyes, a normal functioning
human will exhibit a pupillary reflex, where the pupils will constrict in reaction to the
increased presence of light. Absence of this indicates brain damage, and
in DC, it’s absent. In a normal functioning human, motor response
to pain is natural reflex. Absence of this reflex indicates brain damage,
and in DC, it’s absent. As the days go by, DC’s mother arrives to
the hospital to see her son. She tries to speak to him but no response. He may not have listened to her in life, but
the only thing she would like to see now is a response, an indication, something, from
her son that tells her he can hear her, but nothing is returned. The several minutes where DC’s body was
not receiving oxygen because of a clot blocking the point where his heart and lungs connected,
caused this permanent anoxic ischemic damage. Most people can easily pick out that healthy
individuals can’t stay up and play games for 3 days straight, without sleep, without
going to the bathroom. Most people can’t stay up 3 days straight
for anything. That to be able to play that much means that
that person, has a problem. Internet gaming disorder has been described
as a condition needing further research for several years now. Back in 2013, The Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, revision 5 put that description on paper. And in 2018, the World Health Organization
placed gaming disorder as a diagnosable condition in the 11th revision of the International
Classification of Diseases. DC is at one extreme end of the spectrum of
what can be described as internet gaming disorder. The actual people who will have this are a
small subset of the population, because, most people won’t have this level of obsessive
behavior. Context here matters, make no mistake. People who only hear headlines may be underinformed
as to what internet gaming disorder really is. What behavior those words are describing. It’s probably not describing a kid who wants
to play games with his friends after school, who day dreams about the game during class,
but is a functional person who is OK if they don’t play games for a few days. Who can comply with their responsibilities. It also probably doesn’t describe a 25 year
old who plays 20 hours total on the weekend, but can still show up to work during the week,
hold a relationship and family obligations without problem. Internet gaming disorder doesn’t describe
these people. But, if someone lets their kids or pets starve
to death because they were too focused on playing a game, then something might be wrong. If someone continues to obsessively play after
getting forcibly kicked out their parents’ house, plays for several days at a time nonstop,
not getting up, not eating, not using the bathroom, and not sleeping, well then something
could be wrong. Even worse if blood pools in the legs while
that person is playing, forming a deep vein thrombosis, that became a massive pulmonary
embolism, with end organ malperfusion and hemodynamic collapse resulting in residual
organ dysfunction and hypoxic brain damage. Something that results in tangible, detrimental
and life-threatening consequences due to one’s lack of self control over playing video games,
IS a problem, and it’s a good thing that it’s been classified as such. For DC, limited neurocognitive function was
recovered as he suffered from rounds of pneumonia and sepsis during his stay in the intensive
care unit. Diminished urine output and elevated transaminase
levels indicated kidney and liver damage. The loss of pupillary reflex and absent extensor
motor response days after admission were 100 percent specific factors to indicate poor
outcome following anoxic injury, secondary to massive pulmonary embolism. At autopsy, extensive neuronal damage was
found in the parieto-occipital-temporal cortex of his brain. Cerebellar injury was observed along with
losses at the thalamic nuclei. Little could be done by the time he was found
unresponsive at the internet cafe as too much time had passed in a setting where minutes
and seconds matter. The only hope was to salvage whatever the
medical team could, once DC fell into cardiac arrest. For gamers today, be sure to keep yourself
hydrated and don’t sit for more than an hour at a time. Get up, walk around even if just for a couple
of minutes. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Internet gaming is actually stressful, even
if it’s fun. Thank you so much for watching. Take care of yourself. And be well.