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September 25, 1937

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1937;109(13):1052-1057. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780390054022

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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)Aug. 28, 1937.

The Risks of Explosion in Anesthesia  In recent years, cases of explosion during the use of anesthetics have been recorded from time to time in this country and in America. The British Medical Journal has published a useful review of the subject. In the British Journal of Anaesthesia, Coste and Chaplin have published some investigations made to discover under what conditions anesthetic vapors become explosive. They found that a mixture of ethyl chloride and air is inflammable when the proportion of the former lies between 5 and 20 per cent and that in the case of ether vapor and air a concentration of from 2 to 8 per cent can be ignited. If ether vapor is mixed with nitrous oxide the risk of explosion is doubled, as any concentration of ether between 1.5 and 16 per cent is inflammable; much the same

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