Hewitt, in the latest edition of his treatise on anesthetics published in 1907, says: "There is no form of anesthesia at present known which is so devoid of danger as that which results from nitrous oxid when administered with a sufficient percentage of oxygen to prevent all asphyxial complications." He came to this conclusion after employing this anesthesia himself 17,000 times without having cause for anxiety in more than two or three cases, "in which, owing to the percentage of oxygen having been insufficient, transient respiratory embarrassment arose, and in one case in which transient syncope, probably of reflex origin, took place." In the same chapter he also says: "The chief objection to the use of definite mixtures of nitrous oxid and oxygen are: (1) that they are difficult to prepare accurately and in sufficient quantities; (2) that different subjects require different percentages, and (3) that the proportion of oxygen
BYINGTON JF. APPARATUS FOR ADMINISTERING NITROUS OXID AND OXYGEN OR ETHER VAPOR AND AIR IN ANY DEFINITE MIXTURETHE EXACT PERCENTAGES OF THE TWO GASES BEING UNDER THE IMMEDIATE CONTROL OF THE ANESTHETIST. JAMA. 1909;LII(9):697–698. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420350023002
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