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June 24, 1939

The Evolution of Obstetric Analgesia

JAMA. 1939;112(25):2628-2629. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800250052032

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Abstract

The author wrote this book because "no English volume solely on the subject has stressed its historical aspect." He discusses the two main landmarks, the introduction of ether and chloroform into obstetrics by Simpson and the elaboration of twilight sleep by Gauss. Likewise he expresses his own ideas concerning the scopolamine-morphine technic, which he learned from Gauss in Würzburg in 1931. There are also chapters on scopolamine amnesia, the barbiturates and more inhalation anesthetics, nitrous oxide and ethylene, the last written by W. Stanley Sykes. Claye says "We have on my suggestion aimed at giving some form of analgesia to every patient in labor.... This, as regards inhalation anesthetics, is carried out almost entirely by medical students and... the work has been in the great majority of cases conscientiously and efficiently done." In the United States, medical students are rarely permitted to give inhalation anesthetics. Claye further remarks "I think...

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