The reasons for giving preliminary medication are: to prevent psychic shock, to increase the margin of safety, to modify or abolish any and all untoward symptoms during induction and maintenance of anesthesia and after operation, and, most important of all, to prevent possible pathologic lesions in the lungs. Preliminary medication should be given regardless of whether the anesthesia is local, spinal, regional or general. In the search for a suitable agent for preliminary medication, magnesium sulphate should be considered. It synergizes with morphine by prolonging its effect, and if ether is used, the magnesium sulphate deepens the anesthesia.
Table 1 is a summary of cases from more than 200 similar cases selected in sequence at the Presbyterian Hospital of New York City in which 400 cc. of a sterile 4 per cent chemically pure magnesium sulphate solution (4 drachms [15.5 Gm.] of the salt) was given by hypodermoclysis one and
GWATHMEY JT, HOOPER CW. PRELIMINARY MEDICATION IN GENERAL ANESTHESIA: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE MARGIN OF SAFETY AND POSTOPERATIVE LESIONS OF THE LUNG. Arch Surg. 1928;16(1):416–425. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140010420027
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