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Occluded circulation

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a992 (Published 07 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a992
  1. Jules Dussek, retired cardiothoracic surgeon, Sevenoaks
  1. jules.vanessa.dussek{at}btinternet.com

    Thirty years ago my boss had told me of an aortic valve replacement he had performed. The heart came off bypass well with a good output, but later it was apparent that, although the patient’s legs were warm to the touch, there was no pulsatile flow. “It was as if,” he said, “there was a sponge in the aorta.” And then the penny dropped. During the operation, it was customary to put a sponge in the left ventricular cavity …

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