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Article
November 11, 1911

THE USE OF REBREATHING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF ANESTHETICS

JAMA. 1911;LVII(20):1593-1599. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260110093006
Abstract

Since the very introduction of ether and chloroform the use of rebreathing in administering them has been under discussion. With chloroform it has seldom been permitted, while with ether until recent years it was considered desirable,1 and ether was given almost exclusively by means of a closed inhaler of some sort. Since the introduction of the open method of etherization, however, rebreathing has fallen into disfavor, and writers now pretty generally condemn it.2 It is my purpose to show that, contrary to this common opinion, rebreathing when properly regulated and when the oxygen supply is ample is harmless and can be put to a valuable use. The evidence in favor of this is derived partly from a series of 2,500 gas-oxygen and gas-oxygen-ether anesthesias given by a closed method at Professor Halsted's clinic, and partly from the recent and very important work of the physiologists—Henderson,3

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