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Death From AnÆsthetics Etc

The coroner in England and Wales and Ireland must inquire into every

case of death during the administration of an anæsthetic. The

anæsthetist has to appear at the inquest, and must answer a long series

of questions relative to the administration of the drug.

Before, therefore, giving an anæsthetic, and so as to furnish yourself

with a proper defence in the event of death occurring, you ought to

the heart, lungs, and kidneys of the patient to see if they are

healthy. Should a fatal result follow, the anæsthetist will require to

prove that it was necessary to give the anæsthetic, that the one

employed was the most suitable, that the patient was in a fit state of

health to have it administered, that it was given skilfully and in

moderate amount, that he had the usual remedies at hand in case of

failure of the heart or lungs, and that he employed every means in his

power to resuscitate the patient.

The condition of the lungs is of more importance than the state of the


The chloroformist ought always to use the best chloroform.

An anæsthetic should never be administered except in the presence of a

third person. This applies especially to dentists who give gas to


=Malpractice.=--In every case where a medical man attends a patient, he

must give him that amount of care, skill, knowledge, or judgment, that

the law expects of him. If he does not, then the charge of malpractice

may be brought against him. It is most frequently alleged in connection

with surgical affections--e.g., overlooking a fracture or dislocation.

Before a major operation is performed, it is well to get a written