Medicine: Safer Heart Operations

On the operating table, the heart of the baby boy began fibrillating—quivering ineffectually. His surgeons quickly restored blood circulation by manual massage, but that solved nothing. Nearly an hour later, they tried something entirely new: a small (10-milligram) dose of tetraethylammonium chloride injected directly into the child's coronary artery system. Almost immediately the heart began beating regularly again.

Last week the child, thereby saved during a recent delicate pulmonary-valve operation at Denver's National Jewish Hospital, was recovering normally. Unpublished so far, the technique originated this summer with Physiologist Baruch Bromberger, 40, and...

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