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March 1957

Cardiac Arrest—The Most Important Disaster in the Operating Room

Author Affiliations

Salem, Mass.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;74(3):365-380. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280090063010

The Challenge  It is undeniable that thousands of patients, young and old, lose their lives each year throughout the country, because their hearts stop beating suddenly in the operating room during anesthesia and operation. This disaster will be discussed under the following headings:I. What is cardiac arrest?II. How often does cardiac arrest occur?III. In what type of patients and at what ages does cardiac arrest occur?IV. In what types of operations does cardiac arrest occur?V. When and where does cardiac arrest occur?VI. What are the causes of cardiac arrest?VII. With what anesthetic agents does cardiac arrest occur?VIII. How can cardiac arrest be prevented?(a) By the internist(b) By the anesthetist(c) By the surgeonIX. What is the best program for early detection of cardiac arrest?X. What is the treatment of cardiac arrest?XI. What is the prognosis of cardiac

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