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November 7, 1908


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1908;LI(19):1578-1582. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410190016001g

Since the introduction of chloroform by Sir James Y. Simpson, in 1864, it has remained one of the most important anesthetics. Following the historic death of Hannah Greer, there have been many other deaths which indicate the danger of this drug. It is still, however, the anesthetic of choice in Scotland, in parts of England, and on the continent of Europe. For general surgical practice, however, the experience of the last fifty years has shown ether to be much safer, and it is the routine anesthetic employed by surgeons in America. Chloroform, unfortunately, is still used by many for minor surgical work, because of its case of administration and its rapid action. Healthy obstetric patients take choloroform in small quantities and intermittently with safety, and this fact has begotten an impression that it is safe also in continuous administration for surgical operations, undertaken for the cure of pathologic conditions. Unfortunately,

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