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

The miracle patient was rushed to hospital after a major heart attack, but was declared clinically dead soon after arrival.

With the aid of a high-tech machine that kept blood flowing to her brain, doctors performed emergency treatment and managed to return her heart to a normal rhythm.

On Monday the hospital described her survival as "astonishing".

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

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.

Doctors then shocked her heart back to normal and days later she is in good spirits with mother, Virginia, and children Ella, 11, and Max, 9, at her bedside.

The $15,000 device was bought through a fundraising partnership between MonashHeart and the Victoria Police.

 

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