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To the Editor:—
Dr. J. F. Artusio's report on ether analgesia during major surgery in the Jan. 1, 1955, issue of The Journal, page 33, should be evaluated and the reason for success determined quickly. Anesthetists all down the years have aspired to this achievement. In my first five years of practice I almost wrecked my career attempting it. I have my own facts and figures on mortality and morbidity, and I know they worsened (especially the incidence of pulmonary embolism) as I became more adept at skating on thin ice. An analysis of his report leads me to suggest that there is one outstanding factor in his technique that is new since the late 1930's: he has the means of preventing the hyperventilation that ether produces, namely, curare and thiopental (Pentothal) sodium. Someone equipped to do a scientific investigation on minute-to-minute blood carbon dioxide levels had better determine the
Benjamin MF. ETHER ANALGESIA. JAMA. 1955;157(8):680. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950250054023