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CARDIAC arrest can no longer be considered a rare phenomenon. With the tremendous increase in intrathoracic and cardiac surgery during recent years, attention has necessarily been focused on cardiac standstill during surgical operations, its causes and treatment. Rather general agreement exists that the principal underlying cause for this condition is probably on the basis of cerebral and myocardial hypoxia. It is felt that certain anesthetic agents, as for example cyclopropane, may result in cardiac arrest especially in the case of an already irritable or damaged myocardium. Excessive handling of the pulmonary hilus, the great vessels within the chest, and the heart itself may also contribute to this catastrophic occurrence through the so-called vagovagal reflex.
The recognition of cardiac standstill during the course of a surgical procedure demands immediate attention. The operative procedure must, of course, be discontinued, and all efforts on the part of both the surgeon and anesthesiologist directed
SEILER HH, CARRON HG, MARCUS NL. CARDIAC ARREST DURING MITRAL COMMISSUROTOMYComplete Recovery After Twenty-Four Minutes. AMA Arch Surg. 1954;68(5):710-712. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01260050712018