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March 1967

Perforation of the Transverse Colon Following External Cardiac Massage

Arch Surg. 1967;94(3):335-336. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330090029007

CLOSED chest cardiac massage introduced by Kouwenhaven and associates1 in 1960 has rapidly replaced open chest massage in the management of cardiac arrest. Many hospitals now have trained resuscitation teams on call at all times. These teams respond within minutes to a prearranged signal and arrive at the patient's bedside with the equipment and the personnel necessary to manage such an emergency. As a result, salvage rates for the acute cardiac arrest are continually improving and further efforts in this field should be even more rewarding. In our institution the salvage rate (patients who leave the hospital alive following resuscitation) is now 15% (unpublished data). Closed chest massage, however, is not without complications. Since 1960, occasional reports have appeared describing complications associated with this procedure. It is obvious that many of these complications go unrecognized, either in the patient who dies in whom postmortem examination is not performed or

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