[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 16, 1963

The Components of General Anesthesia: A Plea for the Blocking of Sensory Pathways

Author Affiliations

Greenfield, Mass

JAMA. 1963;186(7):641-645. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63710070005009

THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES of the anesthetist in the operating room are to protect the patient from the undesirable effects of surgical trauma and to bring about conditions in the operative field that facilitate the surgeon's work. The recent increase in the variety and number of drugs and methods to accomplish these purposes has been so great and so rapid that important differences of opinion and misunderstandings exist concerning the choice of drugs and methods, the optimal depth of effect of each drug, and the results to be expected. For example, in earlier years, when a patient started to strain during exploration of the common duct under general anesthesia, there was little choice other than to increase the concentration of ether and perhaps to hyperventilate the lungs. But now one has the choice of giving more of a relaxant drug, or more cyclopropane or halothane, or more of a narcotic-analgesic