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November 18, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(21):1864-1868. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800460018005

The intravenous use of pentothal sodium in anesthesia has shown a definite and consistent increase since it was first offered in 1934. A five year interval is too short a period after which to assume a final attitude on any anesthetic drug or technic. Nevertheless it is a sufficient interval to indicate logically a way station in its history at which to pause for a critical survey. Therefore it is our aim here to "examine the record" of that which has taken place to date. This examination will include a brief consideration of the literature, certain observations concerning the technic of its administration, and the scope of its rational application in our hands.

LITERATURE  An editorial of a leading surgical magazine1 in March 1939 aptly stated the present position of intravenous anesthesia: "The increasing usefulness of intravenous anesthesia for many types of operations has never been as apparent