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Article
September 8, 1956

NEW DRUGS AND AN ERA OF ANALGESIA AND AMNESIA

JAMA. 1956;162(2):97-101. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970190013004
Abstract

† The array of agents now available for anesthesia and analgesia should be exploited to the utmost. Anesthesia starts the evening before an operation, with an interview that helps to decide the entire plan for premedication and subsequent procedures; this plan must be one that leads to the objective more certainly and safely than any other conceivable means. In the evening, the patient generally receives a tranquilizer such as promethazine and a somnifacient such as ethchlorvynol. In the morning, the premedication commonly consists of promethazine, morphine, and atropine. General anesthesia proceeds with thiopental sodium or with a muscle relaxant, oxygen, and nitrous oxide. Dosages must be such as to avoid respiratory difficulties; it is better to allow the patient to breathe for himself. In the postoperative period promethazine is used for its antinauseant effect and for its synergism with analgesic drugs. New drugs useful for producing amnesia, for blocking sensory nerves, and for combating shock are available, and improvements are being made in equipment for monitoring the patient's condition, communicating with other departments, and transporting the patient within the hospital.

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