An organic radical, or, according to some chemists, an Ether or analogous Hydrocarbon, obtained in the manufacture of Kerosene Oil by the destructive distillation of Coal.
Med. Prop. and Action. Its anaesthetic properties were first accidentally discovered in 1S61 at Boston (U. 8.), and great hopes were entertained at the time that another valuable agent, safer and pleasanter to inhale than Chloroform, had been added to our list of anaesthetics. The trials of it by Dr. H. J. Bigelow* and Dr. E- Cutter, of Massachusetts, were most satisfactory; but some doubts as to its safety and general applicability are thrown by the experiments of Dr. Dunglison, who, in three cases in which he employed it, found that it induced intermittent pulse and partial asphyxia. Though these unfavourable symptoms may have been a coincidence, yet they suggest caution in its use. "Its action," observes Dr. Bigelow, "is probably more potent than that of Ether, requires a freer admixture of air, 'and may produce upon the system some impression or influence other than that of the mere intoxication attendant on the use of Ether. In awaiting further evidence, it may be considered established that Kerosolene is an anaesthetic of undoubted efficacy, and that it possesses certain remarkable properties peculiar to iteelf."