Heart Rhythms

Jeffrey Rothfeder, Author Little Brown and Company $17.45 (217p) ISBN 978-0-316-75785-0
A recent breakthrough in the medical specialty dealing with cardiac arrhythmiaselectrical malfunctions of the heart that account for 400,000 deaths a yearis the subject of science writer Rothfeder's ( Minds over Matter ) account. In accessible terms, he reviews relevant medical history, including the invention of the electrocardiograph, and describes the serendipitous discovery of how a normal pulse rate can be restored with synchronized shock to induce arrhythmia followed by a countershock. Citing cases, Rothfeder discusses stress- and cocaine-related arrhythmias often found among the young and outlines the need for specially trained emergency teams equipped with defibrillators. Most promising is a recently developed implantable defibrillator that can short-circuit attacks in already arrhythmic individuals. Sources of information on arrhythmias and treatment centers are included. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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