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June 1964

Preparations for Cardiac Arrest

Arch Surg. 1964;88(6):1079-1084. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310240175031

During the past few years several lawsuits have been successfully contested in which the topic of dissent was the management of cardiac arrest. Awards as large as $75,000 and $150,000 have been made against physicians and surgeons who have been judged to be inadequate in their handling of this difficult problem. Because of these judgments, the medical profession has been made more aware of its new duties, responsibilities, and liabilities in the management of patients with cardiac arrest.

Twenty years ago attempts at resuscitation were rare and successful attempts virtually unknown, and there was not the same burden placed upon the medical profession to be as aware of the techniques and equipment necessary for successful cardiac resuscitation. These techniques are such that they can be carried out not only by physicians, but also by lay personnel who have been given adequate training. Therefore, the present situation is entirely different from