In "The Pharmacology of Useful Drugs," by Hatcher and Wilbert, recently reprinted from the columns of The Journal,1 occurs the following in reference to the morphin-scopolamin narcosis, abandoned by the majority of operating surgeons because of numerous attendant fatalities, but recently exploited in a sensational manner as a preliminary to childbirth:
Effective doses are not very dangerous to the mother, in the hands of those who have mastered the difficult technic of its use, but labor is frequently prolonged by its use, and the death rate among the new-born from asphyxia is certainly higher than with other methods in the hands of the general practitioner.
In this case, as has often happened in the history of medicine, the empiric use of drugs has preceded their more exact investigation.
One might naturally expect that in these days of scientific research, the systematic clinical use of a potent if not actually
THE BEHAVIOR OF THE UTERUS AND OTHER ORGANS TOWARD MORPHIN AND SCOPOLAMIN. JAMA. 1916;LXVI(8):577-578. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580340033020