Medicine: Fatal Misadventure

At Cumberland Hospital in Brooklyn, the operating room hummed with the efficient bustle of surgeons and nurses. On the table, her face covered by the anesthetic mask, Mrs. Raffelinia Manfra, 30, lay unconscious under .cyclopropane gas. She had just given birth by Caesarean section to a 5 Ib. 10 oz. baby girl. Then, without warning, came the flash and blast of an explosion in the anesthetic machine. The explosion knocked one of the doctors to the floor. But Mrs. Manfra took the worst of it. The blast seared through the anesthetic tube into her lungs. Within the hour she was dead.

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