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March 25, 1961

Cardiac Arrest in Obstetrics: New York City, 1959

JAMA. 1961;175(12):1065-1070. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120027006

Cardiac arrest as a cause of maternal death in New York City increased from 2.3% of maternal deaths in the 1953-1958 period, to 9.5% for the year 1959. Detailed analysis of hospital records of seven authenticated cases of cardiac arrest revealed that possible etiologic factors included multiple drug therapy in pre-medication, hypotensive influence of tranquilizing ataractics, prolonged labor, severe anemia, and acute unreplaced blood loss. Recommendations regarding prophylaxis are made for the prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum periods. Finally a program of education for the medical community is offered in order to achieve the objectives of trained personnel and ready availability of necessary equipment in order to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity from cardiac arrest.