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September 15, 1978

Cardiac Emergencies

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California Los Angeles

JAMA. 1978;240(12):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290120076038

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death today in the United States. Recognizing this problem, Dr Dean Mason and colleagues have compiled current information on the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of the primary cardiovascular emergencies encountered by the practicing physician.

The proper techniques for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the therapy of acute heart block are carefully described. The signs and symptoms of acute myocardial infarction are differentiated from dissecting thoracic aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, and thoracic chest wall pain. Experience with the pharmacologic manipulation of preload, afterload, and contractility, as well as the use of mechanical cardiac assist devices in the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiogenic shock, are thoroughly reported. An excellent chapter discusses the pathophysiology of acute pulmonary edema, which commonly follows notable elevation of pulmonary capillary pressure, but which may also occur with fluid overload, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary aspiration, narcotic overdose, and diffuse capillary leakage. The evaluation