All who have tried to administer an intravenous infusion must be aware how difficult a procedure it is under adverse circumstances. It is practicable and safe with suitable aseptic surroundings, a fairly aseptic skin and moderately well-filled vessels. The case is quite different as generally seen by the railroad surgeon when his patient is in shock, in a caboose, freight car, shanty or crowded boarding-house, amid the fumes of tobacco, foul exhalations and dust, with an unwashed skin begrimed with cinders and grease, and with the veins collapsed from hemorrhage. Any one who has made the attempt knows the difficulties. It is for this reason that hypodermoclysis commends itself in emergency work.
The principal objection to hypodermoclysis has been that it is too slow in action where prompt results are demanded. Half an hour is necessary for the instillation of from a pint to a quart—too long a time in
KANE EO. SIMPLE DEVICE FOR RAPID HYPODERMOCLYSIS IN COMBATING SHOCK. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(9):520–521. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1900.24610090006001b
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