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August 26, 1939

PREVENTION OF IGNITION OF ANESTHETIC GASES BY STATIC SPARK

JAMA. 1939;113(9):740-744. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800340010004
Abstract

As a result of our investigation of a fatal anesthetic explosion in Boston in October 1938, a means of preventing ignition of anesthetic gases by static spark has been devised which we believe to be of sufficient value to warrant general adoption in climates in which static sparks are frequent.

The explosion in question occurred despite the presence of from 60 to 65 per cent relative humidity in the operating room, electrical connection by chain between the operating table, the gas machine and the floor, and connection between the gas machine and the patient by wire wound around the breathing tubes and embedded in the rubber of the mask and thence by dangle chains to the patient's face. The floor was of terrazo with embedded brass grids and was grounded. The anesthetist's stool was of painted metal with rubber feet and was covered with a sponge rubber pad finished with

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