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January 15, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(3):154-155. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440550042006

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In the British Medical Journal of Nov. 20, 1897, there appears an interesting paper on the comparative action of the principal anesthetics, ether and chloroform in particular, which was read before the section on anatomy and physiology at the late meeting of the British Medical Association by its president, Dr. Augustus D. Waller. It is noteworthy in that it gives the results of experimental studies by a prominent physiologist, whose conclusions have, therefore, a certain authority and it was deemed of sufficient importance to form the subject of a leading article in the same issue of the British Medical Journal.

Dr. Waller's method of experimentation was to test the direct action of the anesthetic on the excitability of the nerve, taking freshly prepared nerves and submitting them to electrical excitation while enclosed in a chamber filled with the vapors of the different anesthetics, the effects being shown by a photographically

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