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October 1960

Cardiac Arrest—Successful Resuscitation of Ambulatory Patient in Accident Ward

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service of J. Montgomery Deaver, M.D., The Lankenau Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(4):604-607. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300040088015

An instance of successful resuscitation after cardiac arrest occurring outside of the operating room is unusual and infrequent enough to warrant reporting. It is stated1 that approximately 14% of cardiac arrest cases occur outside of the operating room—the highest incidence on the ward or in a patient's room, followed by cases occurring in the emergency or receiving rooms, in the x-ray department, during bronchoscopy, on stretchers, and even in the elevator. In the former instances the patients have usually been examined, studied, and hospitalized, whereas in some of the latter instances, more dramatic and less frequent, the patients are in their street clothes and literally "drop dead" while in various departments of the hospital.

In reviewing the literature an occasional single case report of cardiac arrest and successful resuscitation outside of the operating room is found. The following are such dramatic situations, all indicative of the results of