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To the Editor.—
It has come to my attention that an answer to a question on the effect of a general anesthetic on anaphylactic shock appearing in The Journal, Oct. 1, 1932, page 1194, has been referred to in medical teaching as implying "that a general anesthetic is likely to prevent or at least delay anaphylactic shock, if, during anesthesia, foreign protein is injected in a sensitized patient," Although this answer includes the caution that its apparently favorable effect should not be allowed to displace other precautionary measures, nevertheless I believe it goes too far when it implies that general anesthesia is of any aid. The literature on anyphylaxis is generally opposed to such a view. The apparent origin of the opinion that anesthesia would prevent or alleviate anaphylactic shock was Besredka's report that ether narcosis would prevent anaphylactic shock in guinea-pigs, This was not confirmed by Anderson and Rosenau
Dragstedt CA. ANAPHYLAXIS AND ANESTHESIA. JAMA. 1935;105(4):300. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760300060022