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To the Editor:
—Recently a harmless explosion occurred here which well illustrates a possibility about which I have spoken before; namely, that flushing the anesthesia machine with oxygen rather than with nitrous oxide, before all the ethylene and ether have been removed, may lead to an explosion.The anesthetist had been giving ethylene and oxygen. After the operation was finished, the machine was shoved into a corner. The anesthetist then emptied the bag by bringing pressure to bear on it with her hand, and then flushed the machine with oxygen. She tried to take the inhaler tubing from the machine, and there resulted a quick explosion. This occurred even though our anesthetists have been warned repeatedly against this particular procedure. The enclosed print shows the hole that was made in the breathing tube. In some way or other the ground wire had become disconnected from the machine, so that it
Lundy JS. POSSIBLE CAUSE OF EXPLOSIONS IN GAS ANESTHETIC DEVICES. JAMA. 1932;99(2):152. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740540060033