The mass spectrometer in the clinical practice of anaesthesia
In the 135 years since the first successful administration of an inhalation anaesthetic, diethyl ether, by W.T.G. Morton of Boston, there has never been any consistent attempt to monitor directly and comprehensively the inspired concentrations of the gases which the patient respires. For much of that time, and certainly until the years immediately following World War II, there was no special need for such facilities. Indeed, many of the techniques of gaseous anaesthesia constituted such a trespass of the patient’s physiology that the practice of anaesthesia was an art rather than a science. For example, the use of Joseph Clover’s apparatus for diethyl ether, popular in the early years of the present century, necessitated profound hypoxia and hyper- carbia as a part of the method of induction .
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