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Notwithstanding the inestimable advantages and blessings of general anesthesia as a method of inducing insensibility for surgical purposes, it is not without its serious drawbacks. In addition to the fact that most persons shrink from the idea of losing consciousness, general anesthesia has attached to it not only unpleasant after-effects, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, pulmonary irritation, pneumonia, suppression of urine, etc., but also the occasional, unavoidable sudden death.
It has long been the hope of surgeons and experimenters that some method of inducing insensibility to pain might be discovered which would be free from all the objectionable features of practically all the present known methods of inducing general anesthesia, and this hope seems now to be realized. Physical pain is the perception of afferent impulses received from that portion of the body which is the subject of injury. If no impulses reach the brain from the injured part, no
M. L. HARRIS. NERVE-BLOCKING AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR GENERAL ANESTHESIA IN SURGICAL OPERATIONS. JAMA. 1913;61(13_part_1):1040–1042. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350130034011