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A Technique to Delay Brain Death in Cardiac Arrest Victims
References/ Endnotes

Abstract References:

CPR, Diving Reflex, Heart Attack, Brain Damage, SIDS, Suffocation, Respiratory Failure.
~ Abstract ~
Help for heart attack victims—when no one is around who knows CPR, initiate “The Dobkin Technique for Delaying Brain Death”: Apply cold water or cold wet towels (58 degrees or colder) to the face and eyes of victim—leaving nose and mouth clear to breathe. After this, supplemental help may be to apply additional cold wet cloths to the base of the back of the head and to the back of the neck. This is an emergency time-buying procedure to delay brain death by triggering the Diving Reflex. The Diving Reflex is a natural oxygen-conserving reflex which can delay the irreversible brain damage thought to occur within four minutes of oxygen deprivation. Works on conscious and unconscious victims; may be applied by child or self-administered; technique may be described over the phone. Works in under 30 seconds. Works in victims of suffocation, SIDS, drownings, drug overdose, choking, electrocution, and other victims of respiratory failure or deprivation of oxygen for any reason.


1. Scientific American, August 1977, 57.

2. S. Wolf, R.A. Schneider, and M.E. Groover, “Further Studies on the Circulatory and Metabolic Alterations of the Oxygen-Conserving (Diving) Reflex in Man,” (paper presented before the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Colorado Springs, Colo., 21 October 1964).

3. P.K. Hunt, “Effect and Treatment of the Diving Reflex,” Canadian Medical Association Journal (21 December 1974).

4. J. Atkins, S. Leshin, C. Skelton, and K. Widenthal, “The Diving Reflex Used to Treat Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia,” Lancet (4 January 1975): 12.

5. Wolf et al., “Further Studies.”

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Newsweek, 22 August 1977, 79.

9. New York Times, 7 August 1977, 20.

10. Scientific American, August 1977, 57.

11. Atkins et al., “Diving Reflex,” 12.

12. Newsweek, 13 January 1975, 50.

13. P.G. Landsberg, “Bradycardia During Human Diving,” South African Medical Journal (5 April 1975): 626-630.

14. M.A. Wayne, “Conversion of Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia by Facial Immersion in Ice Water,” Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians (6 May 1976).

15. V. Whitman, “The Diving Reflex in Termination of Supraventricular Tachycardia in Childhood,” Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians, letter to the editor (December 1976).

16. Letter to Jeffrey Dobkin from Dr. Linus Pauling, dated September 2, 1992.

Copyright Permission: Permission is hereby granted to use the writing of this technique to delay brain damage in whole or in part to save lives, or to increase the public awareness of this technique as a lifesaving emergency procedure—as long as credit is given to Jeffrey Dobkin and the technique referred to as “The Dobkin Technique for Delaying Brain Death".