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A short-duration anesthetic which places patients in something resembling "suspended animation" has been employed in more than 600 surgical and diagnostic procedures at the University of Michigan.
The phencyclidine derivative may be given either intravenously or intramuscularly, Robert B. Sweet, MD, told the Coller-Penberthy-Thirlby Medical Conference.
It appears to have its greatest value in procedures of less than 30 minutes duration. Half the patients studied have been infants and children.
The effect of the experimental anesthetic was characterized by Dr. Sweet as "a state of unresponsiveness... 'suspended animation'... onset of action coincides with nystagmus, both horizontal and vertical."
The patient's eyes remain open while the agent remains effective, he explained. One sign of its dissipation is closing of the eyes.
Given intravenously at a dose of 1 mg/lb of body weight, the anesthetic apparently takes effect in 30 to 40 seconds and lasts 8 to 10 minutes. Intramuscular injections of
Michigan Tests Short-Term Anesthetic. JAMA. 1966;197(7):38. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110070024008