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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 22:54 GMT
Heart machine 'saved peer's life'
Lord Brennan
Lord Brennan had been speaking in the debate when he collapsed.
A leading surgeon who treated a peer who collapsed in the House of Lords, says his life was saved by a portable machine that restarted his heart.

Health Minister Lord Darzi said Lord Brennan, 65, was expected to leave hospital this week after suffering a heart attack in the chamber on Monday.

He gave a heart massage to Lord Brennan who fell ill during debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Lord Darzi said the incident showed the importance of having defibrillators.

"I would like to thank the staff for their quick response and I am also grateful for the presence of the defibrillator in the House," the minister said.

Clinical skills

"It was the defibrillator and its immediate availability that saved his life as Lord Brennan was in ventricular fibrillation and had no cardiac output.

"This incident shows how important it is to have defibrillators in public places.

"I'm so grateful to the House for allowing me to maintain my clinical skills, although in future I would prefer to keep my practice in hospital rather than in the chamber."

Conservative health spokesman Earl Howe said: "May I also reiterate not only the importance of defibrillators, but the importance of having someone such as Lord Darzi who is medically qualified to attend to Lord Brennan, which I congratulate him on doing with such expedition.

"There is no doubt we all owe him a great debt of gratitude."

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