Pentobarbital sodium, because of the rapidity with which sedation or hypnosis occurs after its oral administration and the short duration of its action owing to its rapid destruction in the body, appeared to be one of the most promising of the newer fixed hypnotics for preanesthetic medication from both an experimental (Fitch, Waters and Tatum;1 Barlow, Duncan and Gledhill;2 Kleindorfer, 1932) and a clinical standpoint (Lundy;3 Wilcox;4 Magill5). The marked relief from apprehensiveness and the practical absence of disagreeable associated actions, such as preoperative excitement and respiratory or circulatory depression when used in effective dosages, suggested a trial of this agent for surgical premedication in man.
The use of pentobarbital sodium in the surgical service of the University Hospitals was begun in April 1932. The procedures established by experience have become routine, and this type of premedication at the present time is administered in approximately
BARLOW OW, FIFE GL, HODGINS AC. CLINICAL USE OF PENTOBARBITAL SODIUM AS A PREANESTHETIC AGENT. Arch Surg. 1934;29(4):527–545. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180040003001
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