Dr. Clement, an anesthesiologist, wrote to ask Apgar's advice about a case in which spinal anesthesia seemed to cause
paralysis long after the operation. He had learned of her work through a colleague at Ralph Waters' Clinic at the University
Number of Image Pages:
1 (51,389 Bytes)
1938-03-28 (March 28, 1938)
Clement, F. W.
Original Repository: Mount Holyoke College. Archives and Special Collections. Virginia Apgar Papers [MS 0504]
Reproduced with permission of F. L. Clement.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Establishing a New Specialty, 1938-1949
Letter from Virginia Apgar to F. W. Clement (April 25, 1938)
At the suggestion of Dr. H. R. Hathaway of Dr. Waters' Clinic, am writing you for some information regarding spinal anesthesia.
Dr. Hathaway mentioned that you had compiled a review of several hundred cases of spinal anesthesia, mostly pontocaine. If
you have a reprint of this, could I have a copy of the same?
The reason I am interested is that last fall, I gave a spinal to a woman for cholecystectomy. Used pontocaine 1 3/4 c.c.
- 2/3 interspace - usual dose, no trouble getting the needle in place, etc. Nothing unusual developed during the operation,
but two weeks later, the patient developed complete paralysis from waist down. No improvement resulted and patient died about
a month ago. Unfortunately, no autopsy was obtained.
Am at a loss to know what happened. There are, of course, several possibilities, none of which seem to adequately explain
Have you had or heard of any similar cases in your experience? Would be interested in hearing anything you might suggest
regarding the cause, etc.