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September 9, 1961

Cardiac Arrest-Reply

Author Affiliations

Assistant Commissioner New York City Department of Health

JAMA. 1961;177(10):729. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040360065023

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To the Editor:—  We disagree with Dr. Lauderdale that the use of the term "cardiac arrest" does more to becloud our understanding of the mechanisms of maternal death in obstetrics then it does to clarify it. The 7 cases that we reported fulfill the currently accepted criteria for the diagnosis of the entity.Rather than having fallen into a "semantic trap" as Dr. Lauderdale suggests, we tried to clarify this point by showing that, of the 10 cases of fatal cardiac arrest reported in New York City for the year 1959, analysis of the hospital records revealed that in 3 cases the diagnosis of cardiac arrest was actually incorrect.Also we feel that the remaining 7 cases reported as cardiac arrest in our series did not result from unknown causes but rather were related to varying etiologic factors that had not been corrected prior to delivery, as shown in Table

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