Reanimatology

Reanimatology

 

a branch of medicine that studies the main patterns of the cessation and restoration of human functions. The pathophysiology of the death agony, of clinical death, and of the restoration of lost or altered vital functions constitutes the theoretical basis of reanimatology. The term “reanimation” refers to the complex of methods used for revival.

Attempts to revive the dead have been made since ancient times. They have included the application of heat, the inflicting of pain, the injecting of animal and human blood, bloodletting, and closed cardiac massage. Mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration was used by obstetricians to correct asphyxia of the newborn. In the mid-16th century, A. Vesalius experimented on animals, using artificial respiration with a tracheal cannula made of reed. The phenomena of the death process and of the restoration of vital activity were first studied in the late 17th century.

Reanimatology emerged as an independent scientific and practical branch of medicine in the mid-20th century. This development was promoted by the study of hemorrhagic and pain-induced shock and of respiratory insufficiency in persons wounded during World War II (1939–45). Other factors leading to the emergence of reanimatology were advances made in controlling respiratory insufficiency during poliomyelitis epidemics in Europe in the early 1950’s and in pathophysiology and allied disciplines, chiefly thoracic surgery, grafting, anesthesiology, and pharmacology.

In the USSR, the emergence and development of reanimatology is associated with the work of such physiologists as S. S. Briukhonenko and V. A. Negovskii. Reanimatology relies on such modern technological achievements as electronic instruments that signal functional disturbances of various bodily systems and apparatuses that maintain respiration and blood circulation and that purify the blood. Clinical reanimatology is developing closely with reanimation service, with improvement of first-aid methods, and with the establishment of specialized centers for reanimation and intensive care.

Reanimatology deals with all the vital systems of the body, including the cardiovascular, central nervous, and respiratory systems. Specialists are studying criteria of irreversible changes occurring in the transitional period between life and biological death and during revival, as well as means of preventing and treating the preagonal state, the death agony, and clinical death. Also under study are methods of prolonging clinical death, that is, of postponing biological death. To achieve this aim, hypothermia, hyperbaric oxygenation, auxiliary blood circulation, artificial respiration, and new drugs are used.

Reanimatology and anesthesiology are united in a single medical discipline in the USSR. This unification is reflected in the names of scientific societies and of subdepartments of medical schools. At the same time, there is a distinct tendency for reanimatology to develop and become specialized within such clinical disciplines and fields as cardiology and toxicology.

REFERENCES

Negovskii, V. A. Patofiziologiia i terapiia agonii i klinicheskoi smerti. Moscow, 1954.
Negovskii, V. A. Aktual’nye problemy reanimatologii. Moscow, 1971.
Petrov, I. R., and G. S. Vasadze. Neobratimye izmeneniia pri shoke i krovopotere. Leningrad, 1966.
Bel’skaia, T. P., and V. L. Kassil’. “Organizatsiia reanimatologicheskoi sluzhby.” In Problemy reanimatologii (Klinicheskaia reanimatologiia): Nauchnyi obzor. Moscow, 1969.
Dogliotti, A. M., and A. Costantini. “La rianimazione in chirurgia.” Riforma medica, 1951, vol. 65, p. 1073.
Blajha, C, and S. Crivda. Teoriia i praktika ozhivleniia ν khirurgii. Bucharest, 1962.

R. N. LEBEDEVA

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