In the development of abdominal surgery, physiologic methods of investigation followed and explained, in many cases, conditions which had been learned empirically at the operating-table. With this experience before us, we should, if possible, utilize these methods to throw any possible light on the harmlessness or seriousness of the details of operative procedures in order to facilitate our work on human beings. Accordingly, a series of typical thoracic operations was planned on animals connected with a kymograph, simultaneously recording the respiration and blood-pressure, in order to determine what reactions the medullary centers would yield to various operative procedures. It is, of course, understood that these are not reactions to accurate stimuli, but, in a physiologic sense, to the gross and crude trauma of an ordinary operation.
The apparatus used for anesthesia in these experiments was an improved form of the instrument I described two years ago,1 the first appliance
FLINT JM. PHYSIOLOGIC BASIS OF THORACIC SURGERY. JAMA. 1912;LIX(10):760–764. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270090004002