April 11, 1914

Painless Parturition

JAMA. 1914;LXII(15):1189. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560400057030

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To the Editor:  —In the whole realm of science no other field presents such a crying need for the use of the modern anesthetic as that of parturition. For this class of suffering nitrous oxid is particularly well adapted. The subconscious and unconscious states rapidly follow its inhalation; likewise consciousness returns quickly after its inhalation is discontinued. This permits of its entire discontinuance between "pains" with the patient completely conscious, and its administration only just prior to and during the contractions. Furthermore, and this is a very important difference from the action of ether and chloroform, used in this manner, nitrous oxid does not interfere with the contractions of the uterus; the progress of labor is natural, yet the "pains" are painless.The pain and suffering of the parturient woman produce exhaustion, that is, shock. Nitrous oxid, in a very large measure and to a much greater extent than the

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