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November 23, 1912

THE LIMITATIONS OF NITROUS OXID WITH OXYGEN AS A GENERAL ANESTHETIC

Author Affiliations

Chief Anesthetist of St. Luke's Hospital CLEVELAND

JAMA. 1912;LIX(21):1849-1853. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110263005
Abstract

Owing to the great interest manifested in nitrous oxid and oxygen anesthesia in general surgery, it becomes advisable to make clear the requirements and limitations of this combination, in order to maintain its present popularity as approaching the principles of an ideal anesthetic, and to avoid the sacrifice of life which may result in consequence of ignorance concerning the action of these peculiar gases.1

Of the general anesthetic agents now employed the combination of pure nitrous oxid with oxygen, when properly administered, is the safest, the most agreeable and the freest from post-anesthetic complications. It is to be regretted, however, that it is by far the most difficult general anesthetic to administer properly, for the following reasons:

1. The physical properties of nitrous oxid are such that this gas must be given from 80 to 95 per cent. pure, in order that the tension of the gas in the

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