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December 12, 1903


Author Affiliations

Surgeon to Hôtel Dieu (Sisters' Hospital). EL PASO, TEXAS.

JAMA. 1903;XLI(24):1465-1470. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490430013002c

SELECTION OF AN ANESTHETIC.  In order to receive favorable comparative consideration, an anesthetic should possess these qualities: Immediate and remote safety; least disagreeable to take; best calculated to quickly produce and maintain muscular relaxation, followed by the minimum of ill effects, as vomiting, depression, respiratory troubles, renal disturbance; minimum influence on the question of hemorrhage; best adapted to the individual case. In the vast majority of cases the choice lies between ether and chloroform. It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that, all things considered, chloroform is more dangerous than ether, both immediately and remotely. The immediate safety (during administration) is so overwhelmingly in favor of ether that I do not hesitate to assert that those who hold to the contrary can not be fully acquainted with the facts. There are really very few contraindications to the use of ether when skilfully administered by the "open" method. It is

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