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March 9, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(10):835-840. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810100001001

Among the most alarming of the medical emergencies are those arising from acute conditions within the heart. Immediate treatment is frequently imperative. Fortunately, there are a half dozen drugs used in cardiac emergencies which are now available in sterile solution in single dose ampules, convenient for immediate hypodermic administration. These drugs belong in the kit of every physician. Their proper administration to achieve an optimum therapeutic effect and the emergency conditions which demand their use should be common knowledge.

CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS  Probably in no cardiac emergency does death seem more instantly impending than in the Adams-Stokes syndrome. If the ventricles cease to pulsate for as long as eight or ten seconds, cerebral anemia results and the patient suddenly loses consciousness. If the ventricles remain in diastole for more than fifteen seconds, the Adams-Stokes syndrome appears with convulsive seizures accompanying the syncope. The ventricular standstill, if untreated, may continue until sudden

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