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February 23, 1946

Man Against Pain

JAMA. 1946;130(8):544. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870080078029

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Here is the exciting story of man's conquest of pain, written in a popular style. From the early crude attempts at narcotizing the surgical patient by drugs or by a blow on the head the reader is introduced to methods and men who "came close" to the discovery but failed to visualize the great possibility before them. The chapters dealing with the discovery of anesthesia and the controversy arising as to the priority and credit transcend mere popular interest and constitute a thorough study of the subject. As a result of his own researches into the subject and of critical analysis of the literature the author offers the following conclusions: Sir Humphry Davy suggested the use of nitrous oxide as a therapeutic agent to produce anesthesia in 1800 but did not act on his own suggestion or stimulate any one else to act by it. Henry Hill Hickman had the

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