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Article
January 1953

EVALUATION OF TRICHLOROETHYLENE AS AN ANESTHETIC AND ANALGESIC AGENT

Author Affiliations

DURHAM, N. C.; BUFFALO
From the Division of Anesthesia, Duke University Hospital, and Duke University School of Medicine, and the Department of Anesthesiology, Millard Fillmore Hospital, and University of Buffalo School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(1):35-47. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030046004
Abstract

THE INTRODUCTION of a new drug into the field of anesthesiology is frequently received either with marked enthusiasm or marked disapproval. Trichloroethylene is one such drug. In England and Canada, since the report of Hewer, in 1942,1 trichloroethylene has had wide application for the production of analgesia and light-plane anesthesia, particularly in the obstetrical field. In the United States, its use was somewhat discouraged by the report of Waters, Orth, and Gillespie, in 1943,2 in which adverse effects on cardiac rhythm were noted. Other controversial reports continued to appear in the literature. Hamilton3 reported 26 deaths in 284 cases of industrial poisoning by trichloroethylene in German industry. However, Taylor4 tested trichloroethylene in experimental animals and found no adverse toxicological effects. McAuley,5 in 1943, reported three instances of postoperative bilateral trigeminal anesthesia in cases in which trichloroethylene had been used by the carbon-dioxide absorption technique. Later

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