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Anaesth Intensive Care. 2009 Jul;37 Suppl 1:16-29.

Some prehistory of New Zealand intensive care medicine.


In taking 1960 as the foundation year for the practice of intensive care medicine in New Zealand, this paper briefly looks into the previous two centuries for some interventions in life-threatening conditions. With the help of descriptions in early 19th century journals and books by perceptive observers, the author focuses on some beliefs and practices of the Maori people during pre-European and later times, as well as aspects of medical treatment in New Zealand for early settlers and their descendents. Dr Laurie Gluckman's book Tangiwai has proved a valuable resource for New Zealand's medical history prior to 1860, while the recent publication of his findings from the examination of coroners' records for Auckland, 1841 to 1864, has been helpful. Drowning is highlighted as a common cause of accidental death, and consideration is given to alcohol as a factor. Following the 1893 foundation of the New Zealand Medical Journal, a limited number of its papers which are historically relevant to today's intensive care are explored: topics include tetanus, laryngeal diphtheria, direct cardiac massage, traumatic shock, thiopentone management for fitting and the ventilatory failure due to poliomyelitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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