Spinal analgesia proves no exception to the general rule which applies to new methods. Its early development was fraught with mistakes, some of which were serious and even fatal. When it was heralded throughout the world that Bier had successfully injected cocain into the spinal subarachnoid space, many surgeons adopted the method. It was a new field and little was definitely known concerning the physiologic aspects of the question, and little more with reference to the therapeutic phases of the subject. It was but natural that, as the literature of spinal analgesia developed, the number of unfortunate experiences multiplied. It was inevitable, too, that enthusiasm should wane, and that the further development of the method should be left to a limited number of surgeons who recognized in spinal analgesia a procedure of distinct advantage, with a definite field of usefulness.
Following Bier's first demonstrations of the surgical application of spinal
BAINBRIDGE WS. SPINAL ANALGESIA—DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT STATUS OF THE METHODWITH BRIEF SUMMARY OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN 1,065 CASES. JAMA. 1912;LIX(21):1855–1862. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110269007
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