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May 12, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(19):1383-1384. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640460033014

Real additions to the subject of anesthesia are always welcome and desirable, and this year sees a revival of interest in two gas anesthetics: ethylene and acetylene. Both gases were the subject of experiment in anesthesia many years ago. In 1864, the physiologist Hermann1 demonstrated anesthesia on himself with ethylene, and concluded that the gas acted similarly to nitrous oxid. It appears that Davy and Johannes Müller made similar demonstrations with ethylene on themselves. The effects that they reported were a sensation of pressure in the head, with moderate increase in respiratory rate in the beginning. This was followed by sleepiness, muscular weakness, dizziness and unsteady gait, and afterward headache. In 1876, Eulenberg2 and, in 1885, Lüssem3 published observations on animals. Lüssem found that ethylene in concentrations of from 70 to 80 per cent, by volume mixed with 20 per cent. of oxygen caused anesthesia in animals

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