Monday, May 07, 2007

The First Defibrillator? This was an interesting episode in medical history:
In 1788 Charles Kite, a member of the Royal Humane Society of London (an organization devoted to salvaging persons seemingly dead) described the use of electricity to revive a three-year-old child who was taken for dead after falling out of a window.

An "apothecary" was sent for, who could do nothing; then electrical resuscitation was attempted by a Mr. Squires, who
...with the consent of the parents, very humanely tried the effects of electricity. Twenty minutes had at least elapsed before he could apply the shock, which he gave to various parts of the body without any apparent success; but at length, on transmitting a few shocks through the thorax, he perceived a small pulsation; soon after the child began to breathe, though with great difficulty. In about ten minutes she vomited. A kind of stupor remained for some days; but the child was restored to perfect health and spirits in about a week.
Plus you can't beat the title -- "An Essay on the Recovery of the Apparently Dead". (Via Neatorama.)