WARREN, JOHN C. 1778-1856. Address Before the American Medical Association, at the Anniversary Meeting in Cincinnati, May 8, 1850. Boston: 1850.
Stiff red blindstamped wrappers. Fine. FIRST EDITION.
WITH: "Effects of Chloroform and Strong Chloric Ether." [In:] London Medical Gazette [n.s.] volume 8, London 1849, pp 679-685, 712-717, 755-758. Half leather and marbled boards, 1142pp. Institutional bookplate and occasional stamps, rubbed. FIRST EDITION.
Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon John C. Warren devotes a significant portion of his address (pp 49-63) to the discovery of ether anesthesia less than four years earlier and describes his role in performing the first operation using it. He also addresses the more recent introduction of chloroform. Warren closes by explaining how he used ether to ease "the agony of death." He performed the first operation on a patient who had received ether anesthesia in October 1846. He published the second article in response to repeated requests for his opinion on the state of ether anesthesia in the face of the introduction of chloroform anesthesia. He explains, "The introduction of chloroform produced an excitement scarcely less than the that of the discovery of the narcotic effect of ether.... We were soon awakened from our dreams of the delightful influence of this new agent, by the occurrence of unfortunate and painful consequences, which had not followed in this country on the practice of etherization." The Boston surgeon notes the safety of ether and the relative safety of chloroform, which had been associated with some deaths. He lists twelve things that should be done to minimize the risk of anesthesia, including "The respiration and pulse should be careful watched during the whole operation by one in whom the operator can confide." He also lists fourteen steps that could be taken as a "means of restoring the vital functions when suspended by chloroform or ether." These steps reflects various approaches to resuscitation, such as "forced movements of the chest in imitation of respiration" and "inflation of the lungs through an aperture between the thyroid and cricoid cartilages." A remarkable document written by a pioneer of anesthesia who had one of the world's largest experiences with operating on patients who had received ether or chloroform.