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To the Editor:
—Dr. R. C. Colburn's recommendation of nitrous oxid as the anesthetic of choice in parturition (The Journal, April 11, 1914, p. 1189) might be worthy of some consideration if the woman alone were to be thought of. This, however, is not the case. The life of the child is of more importance than the comfort of the mother (I do not say her safety), and as the baby born by a mother anesthetized by nitrous oxid requires usually very active resuscitation, and as a much larger number of these babies will fail to respond to the attempt than would ordinarily occur, this anesthetic is contra-indicated in parturition. It is the custom in many hospitals in which nitrous oxid is given preliminary to ether anesthesia to omit the nitrous oxid when operating on women late in pregnancy or in labor.
Daniels CD. Painless Parturition. JAMA. 1914;LXII(18):1420. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560430050030