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March 1955

Effect of Age on Mechanism of Death and Ability to Tolerate Acute Hypothermia in Dog

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;70(3):367-373. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270090045009

Generalized hypothermia as an aid to cardiac surgery has received much recent attention.* Ventricular fibrillation has been encountered as a major handicap in hypothermia both prior to and during cardiac surgery. The propensity of the cold heart to undergo this functional degeneration is well known.†

This present work is the result of a laboratory trial of this technique preparatory to its contemplated use clinically. It was decided to test hypothermia alone to determine the mode of death in its most profound aspect.

METHODS  A total of 30 dogs, 15 adult and 15 juvenile (i. e., those with deciduous teeth) mongrel dogs of both sexes and of variable weights, 6 to 22 kg., were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium, 60 mg/kg., with increments of 30 mg/5 kg., given as necessary to prevent shivering. Hair was removed from the entire body, excepting the legs, beyond the proximal joints, the head, and tail. Artificial

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