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December 1947


Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department Otolaryngology, Boston University School of Medicine; First Assistant Surgeon, Department Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals BOSTON

Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;46(6):792-795. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690020809007

THE ANALGESIC properties of trichloroethylene were accidentally discovered during World War I.1 It was applied at that time principally for the relief of trigeminal neuralgia. The fact that it is still a part of the physician's armamentarium is indicative of its safety and low toxicity. It has been used, however, as a general anesthetic both in this country and elsewhere. The purpose of this paper is to present a report on the properties and uses of trichloroethylene as an analgesic and not as a general anesthetic.1

I first used trichloroethylene on myself during the drilling of a live carious tooth without the use of local anesthesia. The trial was both convincing and gratifying, because no pain was felt. A sensation of numbness was experienced not only about the teeth but all over the body. In addition both psychologic and physical relaxation were noted. These reactions subsided within two minutes after