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November 23, 1912


Author Affiliations

Professor of Chemistry mid Director of the Laboratory, College of the City of New York NEW YORK

JAMA. 1912;LIX(21):1837-1841. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110251001

The differing experiences which expert anesthetizers have had in the use of ethyl ethers supplied by various manufacturers in numerous surgical cases have prompted the present investigation of the chemistry of inhalation anesthetics. These differences are often not to be explained by idiosyncrasy. Then, too, the standards laid down by the various pharmacopeias of the world are not uniform. In view of this fact alone, a thorough investigation seemed called for. Inquiries addressed to large consumers of the solvent in manufacturing processes adduced further need for satisfactory methods of determining the purity of ethyl ether and chloroform, and of detecting impurities introduced, or proving their absence if eliminated, in the modification of the raw products used in their manufacture. The presence of small amounts of substances has oftentimes been the cause of a chemical reaction proceeding in a particular direction by virtue of a "catalytic action." So the presence of