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November 14, 1942


JAMA. 1942;120(11):843-849. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830460041011


THE PRESENT ROLE OF THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST IN THE ARMY  STEVENS J. MARTIN, Ph.D., M.D.Major, M. C., U.S. Army; Chief of Sections on Anesthesia and Operating Pavilion, Resuscitation and Oxygen Therapy, Tilton General Hospital Fort Dix, New JerseyThe anesthesiologist has played a significant part in the history of military surgery. Always mindful of his prime obligation to his patient and his surgeon, he was hindered in his early development by the scarcity of recognized anesthetic agents and technics and by the appalling lack of basic principles to guide his clinical judgment. What recognition he did receive expressed, in small measure, the growing need and respect for his services. The nineteenth century with its American Civil War1 and various British colonial campaigns2 saw the wave of enthusiasm for chloroform inhalation anesthesia. The opening of the present century marked the increasing popularity of ether3 and the introduction of spinal subdural technics.4 During World War I there appeared, in addition, the use of local infiltration anesthesia5 and nitrous oxide-oxygen6 and ethyl chloride inhalation anesthesia. Other developments of military anesthesia have been reviewed in more detail in a recent publication.7 Although the anesthetist had become of greater service to his medical unit in World

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