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June 30, 1945

THE USE OF DRUGS IN RESUSCITATION FROM ELECTRIC SHOCK

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Department of Physiology, Harvard School of Public Health.

JAMA. 1945;128(9):655-656. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860260029009
Abstract

For many years I have encountered the apparently irresistible compulsion of doctors to give some sort of hypodermic injection to patients overcome by carbon monoxide, close to death from submersion, or in desperate straits from electric shock. At one time in a long experience I listed, as well as the records permitted, the different drugs given in carbon monoxide emergencies by ambulance physicians in New York. Nothing in the traditional teaching of medical students was left out.

This is not such a reflection on these young doctors and their training as may be thought. The drugs injected can be shown to stimulate breathing but not in the dosage or under the circumstances which are of consequence in the emergencies in which we are interested.

Let us consider an instance of electric shock in which the victim, who is obviously unable to breathe and whose heart and circulation may or may

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