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Article
March 9, 1957

RESUSCITATION FOR CARDIAC ARREST

JAMA. 1957;163(10):875-878. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970450016023

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Abstract

This film might be called a medical how-to-do-it film, for it outlines and demonstrates a "cardiac resuscitation fire drill."

The film opens with this statement: "Unpredictable cardiac arrest occurs several times each year in every large hospital. This catastrophe may complicate any type of operation... every surgeon and every anesthetist can expect to encounter cardiac arrest in the operating room... sometime during his professional career."

Scenes showing an actual patient whose heart stopped during local anesthesia for an x-ray procedure remind physicians that prompt action is required when such catastrophes occur.

Then the film shows the prompt purposeful actions—such as quick insertion of the tube into the trachea, the bold opening of the chest, the hand massage of the heart, and the use of drugs and electric shock—that can restart a heart that has stopped for no apparent reason during a surgical procedure.

Next the film repeats the steps of

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