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January 23, 1943


Author Affiliations

Passed Assistant Surgeon, United States Public Health Service; Passed Assistant Surgeon, United States Public Health Service STATEN ISLAND, N. Y.

From the U. S. Marine Hospital, Staten Island, where Dr. Hingson is Chief of Anesthesia and Dr. Edwards Chief of Obstetrics.

JAMA. 1943;121(4):225-229. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840040001001

Continuous caudal analgesia was developed to relieve the pains of labor and delivery. Since its beginning1 we have sought to improve our apparatus and refine our technic in order to provide the maximum of comfort for the mother with a minimum of risk for her and the baby.

Both Drs. J. B. De Lee and J. Whitridge Williams recognized that some obstetricians would literally follow the Biblical injunction "in sorrow shalt thou bring forth" but stated that it was the duty of the obstetrician to mitigate the sufferings of natural labor and delivery. They demanded that any amnesic, analgesic or anesthetic agent possess safety for mother and child.

Since 1847, when Sir James Y. Simpson introduced ether in obstetrics, there has been a continuous search for a perfect method. Many different agents, used either alone or in combinations, have been described for this purpose. Not one has been found

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