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July 6, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(1):66-67. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760270068026

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To the Editor:—  One of the most regrettable incidents relating to surgery in the United States is the discarding of the most successful of all inhalation anesthetics by the majority of hospitals because of explosions in its use. I refer to ethylene. There is practically no danger if the anesthetic is properly safeguarded from static ignition, and this is too easily done to sacrifice the benefits of this wonderful agent. Complicated apparatus with tubes and compartments that cannot be reached by the humidity from rebreathing and thus eliminate or dissipate all static has brought about these explosions. Hence the type of apparatus used was inherently the danger, as this gas has been used by other methods so extensively without ignitions that the statement may be made that this fact is well proved. In Baylor University Hospital, ethylene has entered into from 95 to 98 per cent of all general anesthesias

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