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February 9, 1929


JAMA. 1929;92(6):476. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700320046016

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Accidents, avoidable or not, constantly occur and the daily papers record the serious consequences in property damage and in loss of human life. A crane may collapse because of defects in its manufacture; a large gas reservoir may blow up a neighborhood and destroy human lives; trains collide, maiming and killing scores of citizens each year. In fact, experts calmly predict the number of lives that will be lost in the coming year for any given city from automobile accidents, and the public accepts the prediction with serene resignation. When, however, a fatality occurs in a hospital as a result of the explosion of an inflammable gas, the news is broadcast throughout the country as a sensation. Those frantically inclined, without examining the circumstances, immediately condemn the anesthetic, hospitals in general and surgery in particular, paying little or no attention to the securing of facts.

Recently at Evansville, Ind., a

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