Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent Of The Day.

On this day in 1906, Albert Rousseau was granted U.S. Patent No. 818,123 for a A MASK FOR ADMINISTERING ANESTHETICS.

This invention relates to a mask or apparatus for the administration of anesthetics generally, and particularly for the administration of the anesthetic known as “somnoforme,” which is a mixture of ethyl chlorid, methyl chlorid, and ethyl bromid.

The apparatus comprises a mask a of transparent material surrounded by a pneumatic ring, adapted to make a tight joint with the  face. Into the center of the mask leads a tube, divided into two compartments and, the lower compartment being adapted to receive the liquid anesthetic and the upper compartment serving as an inhaling-conduit. At the upper part of said compartment is located an outwardly-opening valve, serving for the discharge of the respirations charged with carbonic acid, and thus preventing intoxication. Into the upper part of the inhaling-conduit lead two tubes, adapted to receive, respectively, glass tubes, containing the liquid anesthetic and closed by a cap. Each tube is provided with a spring-rod, which allows of breaking the point of the corresponding tube at the moment the apparatus is to be used. When the point of the tube is broken, the liquid contained therein flows into the chamber through openings and, provided for this purpose, and during the administration of the anesthetic the latter is inhaled by the patient through the orifice and conduit. At the end of the latter is arranged a metal gauze for preventing the glass point of the tube or any other broken glass from being carried along into the mask. The second tube is only broken when the liquid of the first one has been exhausted.

To the end of the tube is applied a cap carrying a bladder. This bladder is arranged to permit the patient to inhale the necessary quantity of air for inhaling and preventing suffocation.

In cases where it is necessary to produce a long period of anesthesia somnoforme is used, as stated, to start rapidly the anesthesia, then by means of the same apparatus chloroform or ether at will is substituted for the somnoforme. For this purpose it is only necessary to pour the liquid chloroform or other either into the mask a or into one of the tubes. This liquid flows into the tube, and the vapors are then inhaled as in the case of somnoforme.

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