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February 23, 1918


Author Affiliations


From the Physiological Laboratory, Cornell University Medical College.

JAMA. 1918;70(8):508-511. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600080010003

The term "circulatory failure" characterizes any condition in which the arterial pressure and, consequently, the capillary stream are reduced to such an extent that, if long continued, the functions of the normal organs are impaired and those of previously deranged organs are prevented from regaining their normal activity.

Progressive circulatory failure is a frequent and serious accompaniment of the clinical condition to which long usage has conferred the term "shock." Does it follow, ipso facto, that all forms of circulatory failure are due to shock and that, therefore, the condition of the arterial pressure is an index of shock and a guide as to the prognosis and efficacy of remedial measures? Or is circulatory failure produced by various agencies, among which "shock" is only one? Again, is the circulatory failure in shock distinctive in character so that it can be differentiated from other forms?

An answer to these questions is