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February 18, 1961


JAMA. 1961;175(7):606. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040070064015

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Elsewhere in this issue (p. 599) appears an announcement of the clinical use of electronarcosis for major surgery. Two cases are reported, one patient having undergone exploratory laparotomy and the other simple mastectomy. Both patients suffered from advanced cancer. The clinical trial of this form of "anesthesia" had been preceded by extensive work in animals, the results of which had been satisfactory and had appeared to justify cautious application of the method to man.

It is not easy to judge the importance of this development, but solid gains would appear to have been achieved. First and foremost, it has been shown that the clinical use of a suitable electrical current for surgical narcosis does not result in major sequelae, certainly not during the period of follow-up reported. This fact will stimulate a great volume of research. Extensive laboratory and clinical investigation may increase the knowledge and understanding of mechanisms by

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