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In 1774 Priestly discovered nitrous oxid gas and oxygen. It was one hundred years later before the medical world accepted the fact that it was possible to improve the anesthetic by combining the two gases. It is only within the last ten years that the real anesthetic properties of nitrous oxid gas have been generally acknowledged. While it is entirely satisfactory to partially asphyxiate the patient for the extraction of a tooth, and also perfectly safe, it is neither satisfactory nor safe to use this asphyxial method for prolonged surgical operations.
Hewitt, of London, within recent years discovered that a continual narcosis could be maintained by giving a definite mixture of the nitrous oxid gas with 14 to 18 per cent, of air for men and 18 to 22 per cent, of air for women. This is satisfactory, provided the mixture of air does not exceed 30 per cent. This
GWATHMEY JT. MIXED NARCOSIS. JAMA. 1908;L(13):1022–1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310390020002g
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