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Albert H. Miller, M.D.
JAMA. 1918;70(2):83. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26010020001010.
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It is fortunate that conjunctivitis is an infrequent post-anesthetic complication as, when it occurs, the pain resulting from the conjunctivitis is likely to be so severe as to outweigh any other discomfort that may follow the operation. Conjunctivitis is supposed to follow exposure of the eyes to ether vapor, or to result from the spilling of the liquid anesthetic on them. In the anesthetic literature, mention of this question is limited to directions for covering the eyes with a towel, gauze handkerchief, or a strip of rubber tissue for the purpose of protection from the anesthetic vapor. In cases in which these precautions have been carefully taken, conjunctivitis occasionally develops. In a series of 3,000 cases of ether anesthesia by the open method in which the eyes were not covered, although they were exposed to the ether vapor and although liquid ether was without doubt accidentally spilled over the eyes


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