Medicine: Capsules, may 7, 1956

¶Externally applied electrical countershock has been used successfully to stop ventricular fibrillation, a dangerous heartbeat fluttering that sometimes occurs during surgery. Dr. Paul M. Zoll, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, reported that he and his associates had stopped fibrillation and restored the normal beat in four cases by applying heavy currents (up to 720 volts) to the patient through two copper electrodes held against the chest wall. Heretofore, fibrillation has been stopped only by applying the current directly to the heart, requiring a time-consuming chest incision.

¶A new method for determining almost exactly the minute of death has been...

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