Medicine: Stop-&-Go Shocks

Few crises in affairs of the heart are more dreaded by physician, surgeon and patient alike than ventricular fibrillation —in which the heart's built-in electrical timing system fails and its lower chambers flutter futilely. Instead of beating purposefully and pumping blood to the whole body, they twitch ineffectively and pump nothing. There is no heartbeat. Doctors have tried to reverse the rapidly fatal process with a variety of electronic gadgets, but until recently no defibrillator has been able to do the job consistently. Now, some daring and resourceful doctors have become so sure...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!