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Article
July 1939

ANATOMIC OBSERVATIONS ON SEVENTY HOSPITAL PATIENTS AFTER SUDDEN DEATH

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;64(1):43-48. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00190010053004
Abstract

Between Jan. 1, 1927, and June 30, 1936, autopsies were performed on 70 patients who died suddenly in the wards of the New York City Hospital. All of these patients were sufficiently sick to require hospitalization, some being dangerously ill while others were ambulatory and comfortable. Death was sudden in the respect that it came on unexpectedly and occurred within twenty minutes of the initial symptoms. We have analyzed and grouped these cases, and we hereby report our observations.

The great majority of the deaths were cardiac. There were 49 patients, over two thirds of the total number, who gave anatomic evidence of fatal changes in the heart. The histologic data on many of these patients have been reported in detail by one of us.1 In 7 instances the cause of death was cerebral and in 4 pulmonary. Spontaneous rupture of the aorta accounted for 3 fatalities, ruptured aneurysm

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