Medicine: The Anxious Hour

One day last summer Dr. George Heitzman of Denver's National Jewish Hospital was performing experimental heart surgery on a dog. Suddenly, the animal's heart went into ventricular fibrillation (a quivering and trembling that is usually fatal unless the heart can be stimulated into resuming its normal beat). Surgeon Heitzman began massaging the heart. Half an hour went by. The technicians in the operating room gave up, but not the surgeon. After about 40 minutes, the heart started to beat again, and the dog made a quick recovery.

A few weeks later Dr. Heitzman had...

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