April 11, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(15):1243-1244. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720410053021

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Anesthesia in Labor as a Routine  An appeal was recently made in the press by the wife of the ex-prime minister for a fund to enable routine anesthesia to be provided for the labors of poor women. It was assumed that this was a desirable thing and no question of any disadvantages was entertained. The matter then came before the London County Council, which controls many maternity hospitals. The council invited its public health committee to consider and report on the desirability and practicability of making arrangements to give light anesthesia in labors in its hospitals. Information was obtained as to existing practice. Out of 7,454 patients delivered in 1929, 1 in 8.5 received a sedative, an analgesic or an anesthetic; 1 in 19.5 received a sedative only; 1 in 18 received an analgesic only; 1 in 89 received a general anesthetic (mostly abnormal cases). At five out of twenty-two

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