External electrical stimulation by an artificial cardiac pacemaker can be lifesaving when used to stimulate the heart in ventricular standstill. Additional clinical evidence1 after Zoll's first report in 19522 of its successful application has established beyond question the usefulness and efficacy of this mode of therapy.
Once applied, electrical stimulation of the ventricles must be continued indefinitely, until the heart has regained the ability to beat rhythmically without the help of an artifical stimulus. The period of time for which electrical stimulation will be required cannot be predicted. To accelerate the recovery of the heart, epinephrine, arterenol (nor-epinephrine), isoproterenol (Isuprel) hydrochloride, ephedrine, and other drugs have been used frequently for the purpose of arousing spontaneous ventricular contractions. These sympathomimetic drugs are not always dependable and indeed may produce multifocal ventricular activity,3 resulting in ventricular fibrillation.4 Recently molar sodium lactate solution has also been shown to have