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Br J Anaesth. 1995 Sep;75(3):366-8.

Thiopentone anaesthesia at Pearl Harbor.


A wartime embargo on casualty figures and an imprecise contemporary editorial contributed to the persisting belief that a grossly excessive mortality rate from barbiturate anaesthesia for surgery of the injured occurred after the Japanese attack on the American bases in Hawaii in December 1941. From accounts by surgical staff and official hospital records which have become available through US Freedom of Information legislation, it is clear that the rumoured death rate from this cause has been greatly exaggerated.

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