The selection of an anesthetic for thoracoplasties presents a problem differing from that in other types of surgery in that the patient is more or less debilitated by long-standing infection and there is apt to be damage to the kidneys, liver and heart owing to the effects of prolonged toxemia or involvement with tuberculosis. The most important difference is the presence of infection in the lungs and the necessity of avoiding irritating inhalants which might in any way adversely affect the pulmonary lesions. The administration of ether by the drop method is not recommended because of its irritating effect on the mucous membranes. Beecher and Adams advocate its use by closed system apparatus (carbon dioxide absorption technic) and report 6.1 per cent pulmonary complications.1
Infiltration of procaine hydrochloride and nerve block have the disadvantage that few patients escape without considerable shock and pain. The operation is prolonged and tissue
RANDOLPH HS, KOBER LR. THE USE OF PENTOTHAL SODIUM ANESTHESIA IN THORACIC SURGERY. JAMA. 1943;121(15):1215–1217. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840150029007
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