Cardiology: The Thump of Life

For the person whose heart stops suddenly and unexpectedly, the best places in the U.S. to be this winter are Baltimore and Washington, Albuquerque and Rockford, Ill. This has nothing to do with geography or climate or the overall quality of medical care in those widely separated cities. It is because ambulances and hospitals there are equipped with a relatively simple and highly portable device that seems to be the best thing yet for prompt and effective resuscitation.

Mouth to Mouth. The Heart-Lung Resuscitator, or HLR, which doctors have dubbed "the Thumper,"...

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