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How long would it take to knock someone out by holding a chloroform-soaked pad over their mouth and nose?

Supplement from 11/30/2008 05:19pm:
Oh, and how long would they stay unconscious for?

asked in medicine, chloroform, unconsciousness

seacommander answers:

It will depend on how much chloroform is on the pad but this report, about the first uses of chloroform indicates abouy 1-2 minutes.

'No special kind of inhaler or instrument is necessary for its exhibition. A little of the liquid, diffused upon the interior of a hollow-shaped sponge, or a piece of linen or paper, and held over the mouth and nostrils, so as to be fully inhaled, generally suffices, in about a minute or two, to produce the desired effect.'

'The chloroform was used in small quantity, sprinkled upon a common operation spong. In considerably less than a minute she was sound alseep, sitting easily in a chair, with her eyes shut, and with her ordinary expression of countenance'


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funrunna answers:

8-12 seconds for total knockout!

The second part of your q' is tricky because anaesthesia is indeed, a fine art... So many factors, heartrate, body type and actual dosage received.

You may need a large bowl for vomit too!

Supplement from 11/30/2008 05:35pm:

Just seen SC's link and I can only relate to a live demonstration, that I attended, some years back!

Supplement from 11/30/2008 05:36pm:

Considerably... Less than a minute!!!

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Russel.West answers:

It would appear that TV has it working in around 2-3 seconds where as in real life it is more like minutes as pointed out by seacommander...

My daughter has had several general anesthetics and if tickled when the mask is put on goes out very quickly in around 10-20 seconds - not only does the tickling put her in a good mood before surgery but also makes her breath in the gas and aids her by not stressing her in a fight to get the mask off as so many do - as a parent it helps too knowing they have a positive memory of such events.

Supplement from 11/30/2008 05:48pm:

And as for how long they would remain out for depends on how much is used and if additional amounts are given. Personally I think alcohol is kinder, more enjoyable but does have the morning after effect - depends also what you wish to do - surgery is best carried out by a qualified medic or surgeon - where as other more pleasurable acts can be carried out under the influence of small quantities of alcohol and in all probability the person should be aware enough to make it clear they consent to such actions being performed to or on them... also you don't have to be medically qualified - but it would probably help to have a good understanding of the anatomy and how to manipulate it for a positive and pleasurable outcome...

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KentPDG answers:

Depends on how heavily the cloth is saturated, and how heavily the person breathes with the cloth covering the mouth and nose. Generally, only less than a minute is needed; but it could run as long as two minutes.

The problem with chloroform is that if the vapors continue to be inhaled, the victim will soon die. Chloroform causes a progressive relaxation and paralysis of respiratory and circulatory functions. Keeping a chloroform-soaked rag against someone's face will kill them in less than five minutes.

I have actually done this, some years back, with some squirrels which had invaded my home. I trapped them under some plastic wastebaskets, but I couldn't let them out again, nor transport them out of the house. I convinced a pharmacist to sell me some chloroform, soaked a rag, raised the wastebasket edge just enough to force the rag inside, and waited a few minutes.

I did this on three occasions, after capturing different squirrels. In each case, in less than five minutes -- dead squirrels.

Very dangerous stuff to have around your home, or anywhere else. Chloroform is a powerful anesthetic, but it is not used medically due to the prospect for killing the patient.

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