The alkali reserve can best be determined by measuring the capacity of the blood for combining with carbon dioxid. Many of the observations to determine the influence of anesthesia on the alkali reserve have been made on patients after surgical operations. The alkali reserve may be decreased by the restricted diet or fasting preparatory to surgical operations, and the same condition is usually present in surgical shock, so that ether anesthesia produced experimentally in animals offers the advantage of eliminating these contributing factors.
Caldwell and Cleveland1 studied the influence of different kinds of anesthesia on the alkali reserve in more than 100 patients, including fifty-five for whom ether anesthesia was used. In those latter cases they found a slight decrease, varying from 4.5 to 7.7 volumes per cent. in the combining capacity for carbon dioxid, but acidosis approaching dangerous proportions was noted only in the case of a diabetic patient
CARTER WS. THE EFFECT OF ETHER ANESTHESIA ON THE ALKALI RESERVE: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1920;26(3):319–332. doi:10.1001/archinte.1920.00100030063006
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