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Adoniram Judson Shurtleff: a Tragic Picture of Anesthetic Drug Abuse

  • Austine N. Lin
    Affiliations
    Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA
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  • George S. Bause
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: 5247 Wilson Mills Rd, No. 282, Cleveland, OH 44143-3016.
    Affiliations
    Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

    Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, 2124 Cornell Rd, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

    Honorary Curator and Laureate of Anesthesia History, Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1061 American Lane, Schaumburg, IL, 60173-4973, USA
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      Highlights

      • Boston dentist Adoniram Shurtleff abused nitrous oxide.
      • Shurtleff's death in 1885 while inhaling nitrous oxide may have been accidental.
      • Against anesthetic self-administration, AM Dudley publicized Shurtleff's death.

      Abstract

      A previously unpublished carte-de-visit depicts Massachusetts dentist Adoniram Judson Shurtleff, who died at 41 years of age while abusing nitrous oxide in 1885.
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      References

      1. Shurtleff B. Descendants of William Shurtleff of Plymouth and Marshfield, 51 Massachusetts. Revere, Mass: publisher not identified, 1912: 326.

      2. Burrage HS. Civil War Record of Brown University. Providence, RI: Publisher not identified, 1920; 52.

        • "AMD" [Dudley AM]
        Death from inhaling nitrous oxide.
        Arch Dentistry. 1885; 2: 225-227
      3. Boston Directory Containing the City Record, a Directory of the Citizens, and Business Directory, No. LXXIX, for the year commencing July 1, 1883.
        Sampson, Davenport, & Co, Boston1883: 1219
        • Bause G.S.
        • Adoniram J.
        Shurtleff: how “Uncle Ad” became an “ad” against self-administration of anesthesia.
        Anesthesiology. 2017; 126: 922https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000001652
      4. Current events. The Brooklyn [NY] Daily Eagle. Feb 28, 1885:4.