Thirty-five patients undergoing major operations under trichloroethylene and nitrous oxide anaesthesia with muscle relaxants and with augumented respiration in a Magill System (Mapleson A) or non-rebreathing system were monitored with regard to acid-base balance and ventilation. A trend to acidosis occurred with the Mapleson A system, particularly in those in the prone position. A mild respiratory alkalosis occurred when the non-rebreathing system was used. Acid-base balance reverted to the pre-operative state early in the recovery period and blood pressure, pulse and cardiac rhythm remained relatively stable throughout. This study indicates that trichloroethylene can be a suitable anaesthetic for major surgery provided that the criteria enumerated in this report are fulfilled.
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