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April 24, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(17):1421-1422. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940510021008b

Recently a good summary on cardiac resuscitation appeared, but one critical phase, the stoppage of ventricular fibrillation, warrants additional discussion. The only acceptable method that can be used to effect stoppage is application of a momentary intense electric shock to the heart (though other uniformly applied shocks, e. g., thermal and mechanical, may work). Recently the critical property of such a shock has been determined, i. e., it has been demonstrated that such a shock must include a specified minimum energy. The practical consequences of this fact are in direct conflict with the common practice of some persons who use the method. Open and closed chest defibrillation will be compared below to indicate the proper duration for the shock, and simple equipment acting in this range will be described.

The closed chest defibrillation experiments that indicated that the important property of a shock is its energy also gave an indication

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