In his exhaustive treatise on the "Technic of Medication," Fantus1 writes thus on the alveolar route of administering medication: "The lungs are a large sponge with air passages on one side and blood vessels on the other of a thin membrane, presenting an enormous absorbing surface of great vascularity. Volatile substances are absorbed so rapidly from this surface that, for these, inhalation furnishes an almost direct admission into the blood."
Now this sponge is in ordinary practice the field of operation for the anesthetist. His daily work in maintaining life during surgical operations requires him to be familiar with the interpretation of changes produced by the absorption of gases from this extensive surface. And is not the term anesthetist rather narrow? Is he not an inhalation therapeutist? In actual use the chief gases with which he is concerned are ether, nitrous oxide, ethylene, oxygen, and carbon dioxide; the first
SHELDON RF. CONTROL OF HICCUP BY INHALATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE: REPORT OF CASES. JAMA. 1927;89(14):1118–1121. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690140014004
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