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July 1957

Preoperative Chlorpromazine in Poor-Risk and Uncooperative Mentally Deficient Patients: Use in Patients Requiring Minor Surgical or Dental Care

Author Affiliations

Pomona, Calif.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(1):118-121. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280130124021

Introduction Chlorpromazine * has been used in a variety of conditions, and many reports have appeared in the literature in recent years.1-18 Between March and September of 1956 the drug was tried in uncooperative and poor-risk mentally deficient patients with the hope that its use would make surgery possible under local anesthesia.

The work was carried out at Pacific State Hospital, a state institution for the mentally deficient in California, with an average patient population of 2800, ranging in age from 1 to 75 years and in intelligence quotients from 2 to the high 70's.

Mentally deficient patients often resist even minor procedures under local anesthesia, and necessary cooperation cannot be obtained from them. Many have severe superimposed handicaps, manifested by involuntary muscle movements which interfere with treatment, although their relative high I. Q.'s should permit voluntary cooperation. General anesthesia or heavy sedation was therefore often necessary. The physical condition

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