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February 1, 1902

Death from Chloroform Anesthesia.

JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(5):335-336. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480050049014

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Manitowoc, Wis., Jan. 26, 1902.

To the Editor:  —In reading over Dr. Bayard Holmes' paper on "A Report of a Death from Chloroform Anesthesia," I am surprised at the ungenerous stand the Doctor takes in regard to the anesthetizer. After stating, "It has been my practice to have a skilful person administer chloroform, even if it necessitated an untried and even inexperienced physician as my first assistant," he, a little further on, takes comfort in the fact that the anesthetizer in this case was a stranger to him and untried. Why should that fact soothe, rather than trouble, his conscience, since he neglected to follow his own rule? The anesthetizer being a stranger and untried does not prove him unskilful. Death from anesthesia may be due to improper administration, to an unfavorable condition of the patient, or to an unfortunate choice of the anesthetic. It has been proven again and

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