The role of the nervous system in the production of shock in the experimental animal has been emphasized by Slome and O'Shaughnessy,1 who stated:la "The initial depressor effect of trauma is due to fluid loss; the significant secondary decline to shock is caused by the continued and continuous discharge of nervous impulses from the traumatized area. The nervous factor operating alone can cause death." These experiments have been discussed by Blalock and Cressman.2
Direct evidence for a nervous factor was adduced by O'Shaughnessy and Slome1a,c by comparing records of the action currents in the nerves to a traumatized limb before and after trauma with those of the action currents in the nerves to the untraumatized control limb of the same animal. They stated:1a
No abnormal impulses are recognizable for three quarters of an hour to one hour after trauma; after this time an almost continuous
CRESSMAN RD, BENZ EW. NERVE ACTION POTENTIALS IN EXPERIMENTAL TRAUMATIC SHOCK. Arch Surg. 1939;39(5):720–727. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1939.01200170031003
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.