This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
From a well cooled mixture of Sulphuric Acid, 12; and Alcohol (sp. gr., 0.816), 7; to which powdered Potassium Bromide, 12, is added; this mixture is distilled. The distillate is washed by agitation, first with a 5 per cent. solution of Potassium Carbonate, then with an equal volume of water; finally it is dehydrated with Calcium Chloride and re-distilled.
A colorless, highly refractive, very volatile liquid having a strong ethereal odor and a sweetish, warm taste. Sp. gr., 1.445 to .450- It is easily decomposed by light and air.
Ethyl Bromide was introduced to the profession in 1880 as the most agreeable and rapid anaesthetic. Several fatal cases having been reported, its use was abandoned. Recently, however, Cumston has recommended its inhalation, when pure, in doses of from 3 fl. dr.; 12. c.c. (child of two years), to 6 fl. dr.; 24. c.c. (adult), for surgical anaesthesia. The following precautions should be observed: Food, even a glass of milk, is absolutely forbidden on the day of operation. The mask should perfectly cover the mouth and nose, so that no air is allowed to enter. The entire dose should be given at once. When narcosis is complete, the mask should be removed, and under no consideration be re-applied. Do not prolong the administration over one minute. Sleep is obtained in from twenty to thirty seconds, and lasts from two to three minutes, sometimes longer.
The contra-indications to its use are dangerous lesions of heart, lungs, or kidneys.