THE POSSIBLE USE of an electrical current to produce surgical anesthesia has interested physicians for many years. In 1956 we began experimenting with animals, and it was eventually found that a current of 700 cycles and 35 milliamperes, employing about 25 volts, would induce acceptable general anesthesia. Thereafter operations of various types were performed on more than 60 dogs, and changes in blood gas values, blood pH, plasma catechol amine and corticoid levels, blood glucose content, and blood pressure and pulse rate were followed.1-3 The results were similar to those published by Knutson, Tichy, and Reitman,4 and in general the data appeared to establish the fact that no serious or permanent effects were produced by electrical anesthesia lasting up to 6 and even 8 hours. Induction and recovery were both extremely rapid. The principal precautionary measure required was that of preliminary intubation of the animal, with topical
Hardy JD, Fabian LW, Turner MD. Electrical Anesthesia for Major Surgery: IV. Report of Two Cases. JAMA. 1961;175(7):599–600. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040070001013
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