Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Twilight Sleep

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

TWILIGHT SLEEP, derived from the German word “dämmerschlaf,” an anesthetic employed in relieving the pain of childbirth, consisting of the hypodermic use of a combination of scopolamine and morphine in solution. It was first used by Drs. Krönig and Gauss in their private hospital in Freiburg, Baden, Germany, but attracted little attention until described in an American magazine article in 1914, after which it was tentatively used in a number of American hospitals, causing much discussion in the daily press for several months. It is now very seldom employed in this country, and was almost entirely ignored by the medical profession in European countries. Its superiority over chloroform was never obvious. Aside from that, the use of ansesthetics in childbirth is generally deprecated by modern practitioners, the mother's consciousness being required to enable her to assist in the delivery of the child through her own physical efforts.