Closed-chest cardiac massage for the treatment of cardiac arrest was first described in the medical literature in 1960.1 The report provided the basis to revolutionize care for one of the leading causes of death. In a statement filled with hope and promise, the authors wrote that “Anyone, anywhere, can now initiate cardiac resuscitative procedures. All that is needed are two hands.” Prior to closed-chest massage, the only recourse to achieve artificial circulation was open-chest massage involving emergency thoracotomy. Today the procedure widely known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been shown to double or triple the odds of survival from cardiac arrest.2
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The Rational Clinical Examination
With the development of closed-chest cardiac massage in 1960 and the creation of intensive care...
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