Cardiology: A Safer Shock for the Heart

One of the greatest boons for patients with certain types of heart disease was the discovery that a simple, direct-current electric shock can restore a twitching ("fibrillating") heart to a normal pumping beat (TIME, Nov. 30, 1962). The most notable drawback is that this has usually required the preliminary use of general anesthesia, which is dangerous for heart patients. Now, in the New England Journal of Medicine, two George Washington University doctors report that a simpler and safer substitute for general anesthesia is readily available.

The drug that Dr. D. O. Nutter...

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!