Medicine: Restarting the Heart

Two machines to restart a stopped heart have been devised on the West Coast. Both rely on the principle of pulsating pressure on the breastbone, thus avoiding the risks of penknife surgery and heart massage. One, built at the University of Oregon by Drs. Charles Dotter and Kurt Straube. is of model-T simplicity: an electric motor on a small table set up above the patient drives a plunger with a padded end that pounds the chest at a set speed up to 120 times a minute. It must be shut off as soon as...

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