This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
A thorough examination for sources of danger should always be made previous to the administration of the anaesthetic. An anaesthetic should never be administered on a full stomach, as an anaesthesia of the glottis prevents the expulsion of vomited matter from the larynx, in case it enters by regurgitation. An anaesthetic should never be administered after long fasting, as absence of nutrition may tend toward cardiac paralysis. One or two ounces of whiskey should be administered immediately before the operation. All excitement should be avoided, to the patient, from fear, sight of instruments, too many spectators, etc., all of which tend to induce shock. All appliances for resuscitation should be at hand, and plenty of fresh air be available during the inhalation. In using chloroform mix only three and a-half per cent. of the vapor with air, to insure safety. In the administration of ether the respirations, according to some authorities, alone need be watched: in chloroform, however, both the respirations and the pulse should be carefully noted.