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To the Editor:—
The article "Cardiac Arrest in Obstetrics" by Gold and his associates (JAMA175:1065 [March 25] 1961) invites comment. I feel that their use of the term "cardiac arrest" does more to becloud our understanding of the mechanisms of maternal death in obstetrics than it does to clarify it. I think the authors have fallen into a semantic trap in their statement that cardiac arrest seems to be on the increase. It is true that this diagnosis appears more often on death certificates than it did in former years, but there is no evidence of a significant change in the pattern of causes of death. Those cases in which the cause of death is unknown should be so labelled. The use of the term "cardiac arrest" in an article such as this will encourage a trend which in my opinion has already gone too far. To label
Lauderdale V. Cardiac Arrest. JAMA. 1961;177(10):729. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040360065022