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December 1, 1951

CARDIAC ARRESTCOMPLETE RECOVERY AFTER TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

From the Thoracic Service, Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, Conn., and from the Thoracic Surgery Service, Boston City Hospital.

JAMA. 1951;147(14):1347-1349. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670310006012c
Abstract

Total cessation of the heartbeat during a surgical operation presents a crisis demanding direct action. Correct treatment requires previous planning for action in the event of such an accident, as well as knowledge of the probable causes of cardiac arrest. It is generally agreed that there are two principle factors, either one or both of which are usually responsible for the onset of cardiac standstill: first, excessive manipulation of the heart itself or of the pulmonary hilar structures during thoracic surgery; and second, myocardial hypoxia due either to generalized arterial hypoxia or to direct occlusion of one or more coronary vessels by internal damage or external pressure.1 The case of cardiac arrest presented here is of interest because the patient had a markedly diminished pulmonary reserve, which had been measured objectively prior to thoracic surgery; this patient was one, therefore, in whom complications were felt to be more likely

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