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May 16, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(3):262-264. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690030062017

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Artificial Hibernation.  —H. Laborit has deduced from observations on resting plant and animal cells that the only way for a complex organism such as man to resist a severe stress capable of overwhelming its adaptive capacities is to have its metabolic rate reduced temporarily in a controlled manner. After years of research on dogs and rats, the author has perfected a two stage method for accomplishing this result: First he uses a "lytic cocktail" to block the vegetative nervous system, thus preventing shock during and after the operation and potentiating general anesthesia by reducing basal metabolism. Then, to obtain a more complete slowing-down of tissue metabolism, he refrigerates the organism. When both methods were applied to the dog it was impossible to produce irreversible hemorrhagic shock by Wiggers' method.

Trials.  —The technique used in human clinics is as follows: On the eve of the operation, the patient is given phenobarbital

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