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October 31, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;238(18):1903-1908. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280190005002

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'Super' ventricular defibrillators: How big a shock is too much?  "If 40% to 75% of the deaths from acute myocardial infarction occur in the first hour, as has been reported from various sources, application of appropriate treatment during this very early period would appear to be very difficult to accomplish. Possibly every home with a person at risk should have a portable defibrillator next to the television set."Charles K. Friedberg, MD, no doubt had his tongue in his cheek when he wrote that paragraph in 1972 as part of an introduction to a symposium on myocardial infarction (Circulation 45:179). However, if the late cardiologist could have attended a recent conference on cardiac defibrillation at Purdue University, he would have learned that now there would be little trouble in putting a defibrillator next to every television set. In fact, several groups of investigators are working on ways to build miniature