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Article
June 27, 1959

THE MANAGEMENT OF CARDIAC ARREST

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

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Abstract

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

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