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When I first started the practice of obstetrics after leaving the Evanston Hospital about eleven years ago, pantopon (a mixture of opium and alkaloids) and scopolamine were being used for analgesia, as was taught when I interned at that time. It was the method of choice for about eight years, or until about three years ago, when I changed to pentobarbital, which I have been using ever since. When using pantopon and scopolamine I made a lot of friends among new mothers who previously had not had any relief of pain during labor; but at the same time I had a number of babies that were slow to breathe and quite cyanotic. It was always with a great deal of anxiety that I gave the second hypodermic of scopolamine and pantopon, for often I would have to work a half hour or more to get the baby to breathe properly.
EDWARDS WC. PENTOBARBITAL-SODIUM ANALGESIA IN OBSTETRICS IN THE HOME: REPORT ON 200 CASES. JAMA. 1937;108(12):957–959. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780120027006
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