General anesthetics are usually gas or vapor and
are administered by inhalation. Anesthesiology is a
highly specialized field, and the administration of a
general anesthetic should never be undertaken without
the supervision of a medical officer. There may be
times, however, when you, as a Hospital Corpsman,
are called upon to assist by administering general
anesthesia. You should, therefore, acquaint yourself
with the most commonly used general anesthetics and
their respective properties.
Local anesthetics produce loss of sensation to
pain in a specific area or locality of the body, without
loss of consciousness or mental capacity. The majority
of these drugs are administered parenterally or
See appendix IV, pages 17 and 18, for a listing of
several of the most commonly used anesthetics.
OXYTOCICS.Oxytocics are drugs that
produce a rhythmic contraction of the uterus. Their
action is selective for the uterus, although other
smooth muscles are affected. (See appendix IV, page
Biological agents are prepared from living
organisms or their products. The chief purpose served
by these preparations in the Navy is the immunization
of personnel against infectious disease. They may,
however, be used in the treatment of disease or act in a
Dosage and routes of
administration are described in BUMEDINST 6320.1.
Biologicals include serums, viruses, toxins,
antitoxins, antigens, and bacterial vaccines.
Manufacturers of these products must be licensed
by the Secretary of the Treasury. Their products are
monitored by the U.S. Public Health Service.
The label that must be placed on each package will
bear the name, address, and license number of the
manufacturer. It will also list the name of the product,
lot number, date of manufacture (or expiration), period
of potency, and the minimum potency (or the fact that
there is no standard of potency).
FA C TO R S
R E M E M B E R E D
CONCERNING BIOLOGICALS.Most immu-
nizing agents that are used in routine procedures may
be obtained through normal supply channels. (Yellow
fever vaccine must be ordered from activities that have
been designated as supply points for this biological.)
Biologicals must be stored in a cool, dry, and
preferably dark place. (Yellow fever vaccine must be
maintained in a frozen state until prepared for use.) All
biological products should be examined periodically,
and a thorough examination for deterioration will be
held immediately preceding their use.
E X A M I N AT I O N S O F PA R E N T E R A L
SOLUTIONS.Solutions are examined at least three
times at the activity at which they are ultimately used:
1. Upon receiving the solution.
2. Periodically while in storage.
3. Immediately preceding use.
solutions, unless the label states otherwise, must
be free of turbidity or undissolved material. All
solutions should be inverted and gently swirled
to bring any sediment or particulate matter into
view. A well-illuminated black or white
background will facilitate this examination.
Parenteral solutions may be unfit for use because of
deterioration from prolonged storage,
accidental contamination occurring upon
original packaging, or
defects that may develop in containers or seals.
There is no set rule that can be applicable in
regards to any of these factors. Therefore, to ensure
suitability for use, a regimented program of inspection
IMMUNIZING AGENTS.Following is a
descriptive list of the most common immunizing
agents used by the U.S. armed forces to inoculate
military personnel against disease.
Diphtheria Antitoxin.Diphtheria antitoxin is a
transparent or slightly opalescent liquid, nearly
colorless, and has a very slight odor due to its
preservative. It is a sterile solution of antitoxic
substances obtained from the blood serum or plasma of
a healthy horse immunized against diphtheria toxin.
Tetanus Antitoxin.Tetanus antitoxin is a sterile
solution of antitoxic substances that are usually
obtained from the blood serum or plasma of a healthy
horse that has been immunized against tetanus toxin or
toxoid. Tetanus antitoxin contains not more than 0.4
percent cresol or 0.5 percent phenol as a preservative.
It is slightly opalescent with a yellow, brown, or
greenish color, depending upon the manufacturer.
There will be a slight odor of the preservative used.
Tetanus Toxoid.Tetanus toxoid is a sterile
solution of the growth of the tetanus bacillus,