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Chapter 12 - Muscle Relaxants

from Section 2 - Devices and Techniques to Manage the Abnormal Airway

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 September 2019

Narasimhan Jagannathan
Northwestern University Medical School, Illinois
John E. Fiadjoe
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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In the territory between the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in the late sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh observed natives use arrows with a “poison” so strong that its victims died, not by direct physical injury, but rather by the perishing effect of its poison. Curiosity in this substance by European explorers helped transform curare from an arrow poison to a surgical relaxant. The introduction of muscle relaxants revolutionized anesthetic practice as it allowed for improved surgical conditions, lower levels of volatile anesthetics, and improved tracheal intubation conditions.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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