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To the Editor.—
Soroff et al (229:1441, 1974) described results of external counterpulsation in 20 patients in Boston-area hospitals. The authors' conclusion that the 45% survival rate was a significant improvement over the usual 15% survival rate in cardiogenic shock needs comment.My personal experience in the field of counterpulsation started in 1964 as an electronics engineer. Together with Paul Freed, Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz and I built the first of a series of intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) systems. After four years with Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz, I assisted Arthur Kantrowitz, PhD, in the development of the Avco IABP system.The Soroff article is one of a long line of similar reports suggesting that some new drug, chemical, or engineering device may be the answer to the treatment of the cardiogenic shock.The survival rate mentioned by Soroff et al was not 45% but only 35%, which means that 65% of the
Hershberg PI. Results With External Counterpulsation. JAMA. 1974;230(9):1255-1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090015009