On the Incidence of Anaesthetic Complications and Their Relation to Basal Narcosis.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1937;60(4):732-733. doi:10.1001/archinte.1937.00180040168014.
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An analysis of approximately sixteen thousand anesthetics given at several London hospitals and by the author is presented. Complications occurring during and after anesthesia are briefly considered. In two large comparable series two deaths directly attributable to the anesthetic occurred when the basal narcotic was used. The morbidity of pulmonary complications was doubled by the use of the basal narcotics, bronchitis and atelectasis being the most common. Operations involving the abdomen most frequently showed anesthetic complications. Postoperative care to prevent complications is considered. The safest general anesthetic given was "nitrous-oxide-oxygen," supplemented by ether as needed. Other anesthetics were rarely used, because of contraindications and complications from the anesthetics themselves. Divinyl ether and cyclopropane have not been used enough to warrant deductions. The basal narcotics used included tribromethanol in amylene hydrate, paraldehyde and assorted barbiturates, the latter both orally and intravenously. The author prefers paraldehyde rectally as a basal narcotic,


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