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"WMS: Snow on inhalation of ether and chloroform"

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(27 November 1847)

PDF courtesy of Google and the University or Michigan Libraries.

The PDF contains the minutes of both the 20 November and 27 November minutes published in London Medical Gazette 40 (10 December 1847): 1030-32 because some discussion of Snow's presentation on 20 November was deferred to the next meeting.

The Society's minutes for 27 November were also published in Lancet 2 (4 December 1847): 605-06.

Snow's first comment came in response to remarks by "Professor Murray [who] had lately exhibited the chloroform in a case of perforation, occurring in a woman with a deformed pelvis, and in whom no other operation could have been resorted to for delivery. Dr. Snow had in this case exhibited the agent, and though the operation lasted for three-quarters of an hour, she was quite unconscious during the whole time, and when she awoke at the conclusion of the operation, expressed her surprise at her delivery. She had undergone the operation before, and had suffered greatly, the consequences of the proceeding being felt by her for the space of three months afterwards, so that she could not leave her bed. In the present instance the operation had been performed on two days since and she was now nearly well.

Dr. Snow said, that all the effects which had been exhibited in this case would have been obtainable from ether; the chloroform, too, was more expensive" [1031].

After additional remarks by Murray and a comment from Mr. Hancock, "Dr. Lankester inquired whether sickness followed the use of chloroform more frequently than that of ether? In three out of five cases in which he had seen chloroform employed, sickness followed. This was not the case when ether had been used in those instances which had come under his own observation.

Dr. Snow said that in this respect the ether and chloroform were similar. It depended on the state of the stomach, whether full or otherwise, whether vomiting occurred. It took place on an average in about one in five cases" [1032].

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