Medicine: After Gas

Despite a century-long, varied experience with anesthetics, only last week did doctors seem to have a definitive, rational explanation for the insanity which occasionally follows the use of the first of anesthetics, nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"). The reporters: Drs. Frank Rodolph Ford, 44; Frank Burton Walsh, 41; and James Armstead Jarvis, 33; reporting in the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Their case: A healthy young man, after a hernia operation, "under nitrous oxide and other anesthesia suffered apraxia [inability to handle objects], aphasia [loss of speech], reduction of vision, loss of visual fixation and moderately severe cerebellar ataxia [loss of...

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