WITH THE DEVELOPMENT of nerve-blocking drugs and the perfection of spinal puncture technique, it was inevitable that some one should conceive the idea of analgesia by blocking nerves at their origins from the spinal cord. Corning,1in 1885, appears to have been the first to have done this with some success. Since his time there have been, roughly, three waves of enthusiasm for spinal anesthesia. The first two waves resulted in so many failures as well as disasters that spinal anesthesia fell into great disrepute with most of the profession. Whether or not spinal anesthesia has at last reached a sufficient degree of perfection to take a permanent place in the surgical armamentarium and, if so, just what that place is to be would appear as yet to be undecided; for although spinal anesthesia is used in some clinics for eighty to ninety per cent of general surgery, other clinics remain aloof from it, or after a few sporadic trials, have abandoned it altogether.
*Read before the Montefiore Club, Buffalo, N. Y.
© 1931 International Anesthesia Research Society