Medicine: Anti-Shock

Every surgeon dreads, and watches for, post-operative shock. So precise is the body's harmony that even a slight disarrangement of tissues, a two-degree drop in temperature, and the loss of a cupful of blood may be enough to bog down heart and brain and produce a coma, prelude to death. Shock may also follow severe burns, wounds, lacerations, even blows in the solar plexus. Usually shock does not occur until several hours after injury. Standard treatment: warmth, blood transfusion, oxygen, water injections. But these measures often fail.

Among the mechanisms that maintain the body's fluid balance are the small adrenal glands, capping...

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