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December 1958

Myocardial Functional Failure Occurring in Respiratory Obstruction

Author Affiliations

Rochester, N. Y.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;68(6):659-662. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730020683001

Sudden severe respiratory obstruction always demands quick decisive action of the attending physician. The experienced laryngologist has the mechanism of tracheotomy so well rehearsed that he can perform the operation with a minimum of delay. Usually, the prompt relief of the respiratory obstruction by this procedure is all that is required to place the patient on the road to recovery. Occasionally, however, an extreme case is seen in which the anoxia has resulted in grave cardiac weakness and irregularity. When cardiac complications have already occurred, the execution of simple procedures to relieve the airway alone may be inadequate to assure survival of the patient. Cardiac arrest as a complication of surgical anesthesia has been thoroughly reported by many authors in recent years.1-5 In the many papers discussing this problem, the necessity of avoiding anoxia is repeatedly stressed, for anoxia is considered the primary predisposing factor in cardiac arrest. The