Immediately following an accident with ethylene last spring, we made a preliminary report 1 with the hope of preventing a similar happening. Fortunately, similar accidents have not been reported. The question is raised, however, whether there may not have been certain untoward experiences due to carbon monoxide in other clinics, which were attributed to other factors because the toxic concentration of this impurity in the ethylene administered was not suspected.
While some of the early investigators of ethylene noted the presence of carbon monoxide 2 in the samples of gas they were examining and recognized its dangerous properties when inhaled, yet in the classic reports of Luckhardt3 and his co-workers, on which is based the present use of ethylene for anesthesia, the occurrence of carbon monoxide in ethylene as an impurity is referred to in only a general way. On reviewing this work and the reports of others who
SHERMAN WO, SWINDLER CM, McELLROY WS. CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING FOLLOWING ETHYLENE ANESTHESIA: FINAL REPORT. JAMA. 1927;88(16):1228–1231. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680420018007
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