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In a search through the literature and on inquiry among my colleagues, some of them genito-urinary specialists, I have not been able to find any reference to or knowledge of the anesthetic action of potassium permanganate. Inasmuch as my own experience and investigation have shown that the drug possesses local anesthetic powers of no inconsiderable degree on the mucous membrane of the genito-urinary tract, I report the fact, together with a brief account of the circumstances which led to its discovery and a limited amount of experimental data in support of it.
Some time ago I found, accidentally, in the following case, that the injection of potassium permanganate into the urethra and bladder caused a transitory but complete desensitization of the mucous membrane of the urethra, anterior and posterior, of such a degree and character as to allow of the painless passage of sounds.
—White man, had had fifteen years
BARTON WM. POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE AS A LOCAL ANESTHETIC TO THE GENITO-URINARY MUCOUS MEMBRANES: A PRELIMINARY COMMUNICATION. JAMA. 1913;61(3):196–197. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350030036014
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