THE SUBJECT OF RESPIRATORY complications following surgical operations has been a source of worry to all concerned, while endless controversies have arisen as to the part inhalation anesthesia plays as a causative factor. There was a time when almost every postoperative complication, barring hemorrhage, was put down to the latent influence of the anesthetic. One hundred per cent of the vapor necessary to produce anesthesia passes through the lungs to the patient, while ninety per cent is excreted by the same route. Any abnormal postoperative lung trouble is so easily put down as “irritation” from the ether. “Time heals all things.” During the last decade, the etiology of respiratory complications has changed; the extensive use of novocain for major surgical procedures, with subsequent pulmonary lesions, has brought forcibly to mind that other factors besides ether-irritation enter into respiratory complications.
*Read before the Sections on Anesthesia of the British and Canadian Medical Associations during the Ninety-Eighth Annual Meeting, Winnipeg, Canada, August 27–29, 1930. From the Department of Anesthesia, Winnipeg, General Hospital. Courtesy of the British Medical Journal and the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association.
© 1931 International Anesthesia Research Society