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October 11, 1913


Author Affiliations

Surgeon to the Samaritan Hospital PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1913;61(15):1358-1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350160020006

In 1885 Dr. J. Leonard Corning1 of New York published the first article onspinal anesthesia. Not considering it feasible to introduce the solution within the arachnoid, Dr. Corning injected a solution of cocain between the spinous processes in the lower dorsal region of a man and a dog. Although in both instances there were evidences of anesthesia, and although Dr. Corning considered the feasibility of operating under this method, nearly fifteen years elapsed before August Bier at Bonn, Germany, first produced intradural anesthesia. Bier had the experiment made on himself and later injected his assistant, an example of medical herosim that recalls Sir James Y. Simpson's demonstration of the anesthetic value of Chloroform. Despite the warning from Bier, the intradural injection was promptly tried in many of the clinics of the world but soon was abandoned from imperfections in the technic and disadvantages attending the use of cocain. In 1902, with the discovery of a series of synthetic alkaloid-like bodies having local analgesic properties, the method was revived and came into larger use. Of these substances,