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Medical News
March 28, 1964

Vasoconstricting Drugs Raise Blood Pressure But Do Not Improve Tissue Metabolism

JAMA. 1964;187(13):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060260081045

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Prolonged use of vasoconstrictor agents in hemorrhagic shock is detrimental," William R. Drucker, MD, of the Department of Surgery at Western Reserve University, told the Hahnemann Medical College Symposium on Shock and Hypotension, March 18-21 in Philadelphia. "However, there may be a selective beneficial role for vasoconstrictor agents in hemorrhagic hypotension which is not related to their ability to restore a normal blood pressure," Drucker said.

The ideal treatment of severe hemorragic shock is replacement of the lost blood, but occasionally blood is not immediately available. Drucker suggested that many physicians have been reluctant under such circumstances to use colloid solutions as substitutes "because they fear that erythrocyte-free solutions will restore volume at the expense of oxygencarrying capacity in a situation where the primary objective is the prevention of tissue anoxia."

Consequently, Drucker and Hastings K. Wright, MD, sought to discover whether it would be preferable to use vasoconstrictor drugs

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