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October 20, 1962

Clinical Science

JAMA. 1962;182(3):283-286. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050420059015

Resuscitation from Asphyxia  Joseph S. Redding, M.D., and John W. Pearson, B.M., B.Ch., BaltimoreCARDIAC ARREST has been defined as a "sudden and unexpected failure of the heart to maintain the circulation."1 Usually, this is the result of asphyxia. Unconsciousness from any cause may lead to upper airway obstruction, and, if this is unrecognized and unrelieved, failure of circulation rapidly follows. Even in those instances in which cardiac arrest is attributed to drug overdosage, electric shock, or any other primary cause, anoxia develops when the circulation fails. Therefore, in every case of cardiac arrest, resuscitation from myocardial anoxia is a preliminary to reestablishment of circulation.The interest aroused by Kouwenhoven's method of closed-chest cardiac massage,2 and our own clinical application of the cardiac method, led us to devise an experiment to clarify the roles of closedchest cardiac massage and positive pressure ventilation of the lungs in resuscitation from