Since the introduction of ether as a general anesthetic, there has been a continuous quest to develop the ideal anesthetic gas. The attributes of the ideal anesthetic gas have evolved over time. At the beginning of the 20th century, the search for the ideal anesthetic was focused upon finding an anesthetic gas with rapid inhalation induction and rapid emergence that could be delivered without cumbersome apparatus and would have limited potential for toxicity. Somnoforme was a mixture of ethyl chloride, methyl chloride, and ethyl bromide designed to provide powerful efficacy with low potential for side effects by blending of several volatile vapors.
Recommended CitationHeitz, MD, James W., "Somnoforme: A Century After the Introduction of the "Ideal" Anesthetic Gas" (2009). Department of Anesthesiology Faculty Papers. Paper 4.