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April 29, 1961

Explosion Hazard of Intragastric Anesthetic Mixtures

Author Affiliations

172 High St. Greenfield, Mass.

JAMA. 1961;176(4):387. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040170133023

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To the Editor:—  The article on "Explosion Hazard of Intragastric Anesthetic Mixtures" by deNava and McDermott in The Journal, Dec. 17, 1960, page 2023, leaves out important information and states unjustified conclusions. The word "explosion" is used, but no explosion is mentioned in the reference to the clinical case or in the description of the animal experiments; the words used are "ignition" and "flammable." We need to know what volatile anesthetic agents were used, the circumstances of ignition, the possible sources of ignition, and the amount and character of damage, if any. No description is given of the flame into which the gases, withdrawn from the animals' stomachs, were expelled from the syringe.A patient's bedclothes would burn under such circumstances, or his newpaper, or, at times, gas emitted rectally. According to the report, the gases aspirated from the animals' stomachs were tested for flammability, not explosibility. The authors showed

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