Title: Leaning, T. A.

Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.), Part 3, Volume 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883), 893-894.

Keywords:anæstheticsdeaths from chloroformstricture of urethrageneral anesthesia, chloroformpatient ceased to breathe, face purplishMarshall Hall's ready method of artificial respirationcongestion—probably passive—of the heartabsence of rigor mortis

Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e29421

TEI/XML: med.d2e29421.xml

CASE 1268.—T. A. Leaning, Co. H, 76th New York, a patient in Eckington Hospital, was troubled with stricture of the urethra. An attempted examination by the catheter was so painful that chloroform was administered on a handkerchief, pains being taken that the patient had plenty of air by holding the handkerchief far enough away from the face. In a few minutes the rigidity of the muscles yielded, but only partly, and two or three stertorous respirations were taken. The chloroform was immediately suspended and the examination by the catheter commenced. The instrument had only been introduced to about the membranous urethra when an involuntary evacuation of both bladder and bowels took place; the patient at that moment ceased to breathe and his face grew purplish. The action of the heart could not be observed at this time, since the administrator had not his finger on the pulse. On being immediately observed, no pulsation could be felt at the wrist nor observed on auscultation over the heart. The tongue was immediately pulled forward with a tenaculum, but as no respiration succeeded, Marshall Hall's ready method of artificial respiration was immediately commenced. The temporal artery was also instantly cut, but only a few drops of blood escaped. Respiration incomplete and obstructed by eructation; passive vomiting, with friction of the surface by the hand and by a stiff brush, and stimulating injections of ammonia and turpentine were kept up for over two hours with no favorable result, and the attempt at resuscitation was then given up. Acting Assistant Surgeon W. W. Keen, jr.​, who reports the case, remarks of the autopsy that "almost the only things strictly abnormal were the enormous congestion—probably passive—of the heart, fluidity of the blood, and the absence of rigor mortis."