Medicine: New Anesthetic for Childbirth

A remarkable new type of childbirth anesthetic was reported last week in the American Journal of Surgery by Drs. Waldo Edwards and Robert Hingson, who developed it at the U.S. Marine Hospital (where wives of Coast Guardsmen have their babies) on Staten Island, N.Y. The anesthetic is continuous and localized in the pelvic region. A silver needle is inserted into the caudal area, just below the spinal column, where it remains throughout labor. The needle is connected with a flask of the anesthetic, two-thirds of an ounce of which is administered every 30 or 40 minutes. Longest labor during which the...

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