[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 27, 1959


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1959;170(9):1050-1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010090001010

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


No emergency demands more immediate surgical intervention for the preservation of the life of a patient than that which attends cardiac arrest in the operating room. If more than a few minutes lapse between the time of cessation of the heartbeat and restimulation of the heart by massage and electricity, one of three things will inevitably result: 1. The patient will die on the operating table. 2. The heartbeat may be restored, even after the maximum length of time for obtaining a satisfactory end-result, but the patient will die within a few hours or a day or two at the most. 3. The most tragic end-result is to be found when the heartbeat has been restored after too long a delay and the patient survives indefinitely without any intelligence.

For a patient to live weeks, months, or even years with the brain cells thus severely damaged by prolonged anoxia is

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview