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December 6, 1941

HISTORY AND PRESENT STATUS OF OXYGEN THERAPY AND RESUSCITATION

Author Affiliations

Members of the Department of Anesthesia, Hartford Hospital HARTFORD, CONN.

JAMA. 1941;117(23):1939-1944. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820490013005
Abstract

During the past twenty years there has been a growing appreciation that oxygen therapy and resuscitation are valuable adjuncts in the physician's armamentarium. Although both are in the infancy of their development, their history may be traced through many years. In ancient times air was considered one of the four elements, and the clinical manifestations of many diseases were attributed to it. Early medical writings record the use of various procedures to stimulate respiration, the function of which was thought to be the cooling of the blood. Under such conditions it is little wonder that attempts to revive those apparently dead had a rather variable fate. The earliest and most successful of these methods was mouth to mouth insufflation, an example of which is found in the Bible.1 Elisha is said to have restored to life the son of a Shulamite woman by breathing into the mouth of the

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