It is my unpleasant duty to report the first death from chloroform in my practice, not a very large one to be sure, which began in the Cook County Hospital in 1885. I have not kept a record of the number of anesthetics given for me, but they have certainly not been less than two hundred a year. Chloroform has been uniformly used. Only when a patient insisted on ether has anything but chloroform been given.
It has been my practice to have a skilful person administer the chloroform, even if it necessitated an untried and even inexperienced physician as my first assistant. My anesthetizers have been trained by me to give chloroform on two thicknesses of cheesecloth held over the left index finger or spread on a wire mask. It is administered drop by drop from an ounce bottle with a little notch cut out of the side of
HOLMES B. REPORT OF A DEATH FROM CHLOROFORM ANESTHESIA, BEING THE FIRST IN A PRACTICE OF SIXTEEN YEARS, AND INCLUDING NOT LESS THAN TWO THOUSAND CHLOROFORM ANESTHESIAS.. JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(4):247-248. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480040033001j