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Ann Emerg Med. 1989 Oct;18(10):1111-5.

CPR-dependent consciousness: evidence for cardiac compression causing forward flow.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


We present the case of a patient with cardiac arrest and resuscitation in whom, consistent with direct cardiac compression, large aortic-to-right atrial systolic pressure gradients occurred. Forward blood flow during CPR was sufficient for the patient to maintain consciousness. Although aortic-to-right atrial diastolic gradients adequate to maintain coronary perfusion in experimental models were generated, in our patient, cardiac function could not be restored and the resuscitation was ultimately unsuccessful.

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