Research into disturbances of gastric function after clinical death was carried out on gastro-oesophagotomized dogs. At first the normal content, acidity, and digestive capacity of the gastric juices and then after various periods of clinical death were determined. Subsequently ‘hunger movements’ were recorded on kymographs.
The last part of the experiment was to measure the excretory function of the gastric glandular apparatus by parenteral introduction of a neutral red dye. Clinical death due to blood loss lasted two to seven minutes. After the terminal state experienced, the quantity and acidity of the secretions were found to have changed considerably, especially their digestive capacity.
The study of the secretory-motor and evacuatory functions of the stomach in animals showed that there was considerable variation for two or three months in the intensity of gastric glandular secretion, tending both to increase and decrease, along with simultaneous variations of the acidity of the gastric juice and of its digestive activity. These disturbances disappeared with time and the functioning of the stomach becomes normal after approximately three months.
The character of the ‘hunger movements’ of the gastric wall also changed, mainly through marked lengthening of the active period, the duration of the rest period remaining unaltered. Besides these disturbances of gastric motor function there was a delay in the evacuation of a starch solution of 30 per cent of the normal.
The introduction of acid provoked a strong antiperistaltic reaction, ending as a rule in vomiting. The excretory functions of the gastric mucous membrane after resuscitation were also much weakened. The beginning of evacuation of the neutral red dye in the gastric juice was delayed, and there was a considerable time delay in this whole process.