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April 6, 1940

"ASPIRATION PNEUMONITIS, AN OBSTETRIC HAZARD"

JAMA. 1940;114(14):1392. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810140091027

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  I wish to commend Dr. Charles C. Hall for his article on "Aspiration Pneumonitis," which appeared in The Journal March 2. He has called attention to a very important complication which occurs all too frequently. In my experience as an anesthetist, by far the greatest number of complications from aspiration have occurred in obstetric patients. Frequently these patients have gone into labor after a full meal, but many times they have been given food while in active labor in the hospital. It cannot be urged too strongly that all women in labor be denied food and so-called sustaining drinks. I don't believe that any woman will die of starvation if deprived of food for from twelve to eighteen hours. If nourishment is imperative, dextrose may be given intravenously.The practice of many obstetricians in demanding very light or "in and out" anesthesia is conducive to vomiting. To

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