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FOLLOWING its introduction in Great Britain, the use of trichloroethylene as an analgesic agent is being widely accepted in the United States. Because of this increased interest it was felt that a case presentation of a complication with this drug would be of interest. This report is concerned with a cardiac arrest that occurred during analgesia, not anesthesia, with recovery following cardiac massage.
This drug is administered as an analgesic agent by means of special inhalers which draw atmospheric air over the drug with the patient's breaths. A unidirectional valve shunts the exhalations back into the surrounding air. The two most commonly used inhalers in this country are the "Cyprane" and the "Duke" inhalers. The drug is available under the names of "Trilene" and "Trimar."
The subject of trichloroethylene anesthesia is covered excellently in a recent monograph by Ostlere.1 He reviews all the reported cases of deaths under this
BERNSTINE ML. CARDIAC ARREST OCCURRING UNDER TRICHLOROETHYLENE ANALGESIA: Report of a Case with Recovery. AMA Arch Surg. 1954;68(2):262–266. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01260050264014
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