The incidence of ventricular fibrillation is increasing because of the large number of thoracic and cardiac procedures being performed. Many cases of ventricular fibrillation occur in one year in a large hospital and several times in one week in cardiac centers. Although the incidence of ventricular fibrillation is greater during operations on the chest, it may occur during any operative procedure and with any anesthetic agent. Consequently, it is important that the members of every operating team be able to treat ventricular fibrillation and standstill and that every suite of operating rooms have an electrical defibrillator.
The defibrillator should be simple in design and easy to operate and should deliver what appears at this time to be the optimal voltages at the optimal durations. The apparatus should be so constructed as to safeguard both the patient and the operating room personnel; of necessity, therefore, it must be explosion-proof. Because none