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August 1962

External Cardiac Massage

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(2):99. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050105002

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Two years ago Kouwenhoven and his associates published in the J.A.M.A. a method for cardiac massage without opening the chest. The July 13, 1961, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contains a report from the Massachusetts General Hospital of 84 patients in whom this type of external cardiac massage was used. The technique employed was simple: with the patient supine and preferably on a hard surface, the lower sternum was sharply compressed by the heel of the hand 60 to 90 times per minute with a force sufficient to move it 3 or 4 cm. toward the vertebral column. As quickly as possible an endotracheal tube was inserted to permit intermittent bag-breathing. The volume of the femoral pulse and the size of the pupils were closely watched to judge the effectiveness of the massage. The authors warned that pressure should be applied only over the sternum to avoid

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