THE INCREASING awareness that cardiac standstill is a reversible event has led to earlier recognition and successful restoration of the heart beat. Particularly in the realm of cardiac surgery, this heretofore catastrophic complication may be anticipated and efficiently treated. Except perhaps for such calamities as inadvertent occlusion of a coronary artery or sudden massive blood loss, there is usually ample advance evidence of an impending crisis presented to the alert anesthesiologist or cardiologist. An oscilloscopic device for continuous registration of the electrical activity of the heart under the constant observation of a competent interpreter is extremely desirable in cardiac surgery and in our experience has proved a significant factor in reduction of mortality.
Cardiac resuscitation may not be successful in the presence of advanced myocardial degeneration or inadequate coronary blood flow. However, in relatively normal hearts with adequate coronary arteries, resuscitation should be ultimately successful if adequate measures are immediately