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November 15, 1924


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service of the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital.

JAMA. 1924;83(20):1581-1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660200033010

As long as seventy-seven years ago, the idea of rectal anesthesia originated, and its gradual development has been most fascinating and successful. Roux 1 first suggested colonic ether anesthesia in 1847. Pirogoff 2 of St. Petersburg reported the same year on the use of ether mixed with water by rectum. Magendie soon called attention to its dangers and substituted ether vapor for the solution with markedly better results. However, no following was obtained for this method, although several reports appeared in the literature around that time. The next reference appeared thirty-seven years later, when in 1884 Yocum of Copenhagen and Molière 3 of Lyons reported on the use of hand bellows in forcing ether vapor into the rectum, and later on the use of an India rubber tube connected with an ether container immersed in water at 122 F. In the same year, Weir 4 and Bull5 reported the