Jackson Cake Pan (COâ‚‚Absorber)

WLMD ID: akvr

Dr. Dennis E. Jackson (1878-1980) earned a PhD in pharmacology in 1908 and a medical degree in 1913. At that time, most anesthetics were administered using either hand-held inhalers or a single-gas apparatus. A new generation of machines that combined nitrous oxide, oxygen and ether was just beginning to influence anesthesia practice. In all of these, some anesthetic was lost with the patient’s every breath.

In 1914, Jackson invented a new machine design, one that enabled the patient to rebreathe his own air, with the addition of oxygen. This reduced the amount of anesthetic needed, increasing the safety and lowering the cost of anesthesia. Two years later he described an even simpler apparatus, giving physiology students an affordable means of administering anesthesia to dogs and cats in a laboratory setting. It consisted of a modified cake or pie pan which was covered with a rubber bathing cap and partially filled with a carbon dioxide absorbing liquid. Anesthetic vapor and oxygen were routed into the pan through two small tubes in the side of the pan, and the animal breathed both in and out through another, larger tube.

Closed circuit anesthesia did not catch on until Dr. Ralph M. Waters described his own CO2 absorption canister in 1924. Published in the new journal Current Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia, Waters’ article reached more specialists than could ever have seen Jackson’s earlier devices. CO2 absorbers are now a part of every machine used for inhalation anesthesia.

Catalog Record: Jackson Cake Pan (COâ‚‚Absorber)

Access Key: akvr
Accession No.: 2013-09-06-3

Title: Jackson Cake Pan.
Author: Jackson, Dennis E. (Dennis Emerson), 1878-1980.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Apparatus for closed ether anesthesia.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Apparatus for the employment of closed ether anesthesia for ordinary laboratory experiments.

Publisher: [Place of production not indicated] : [Dennis E. Jackson?], [between 1915 and 1940].

Physical Descript: 1 carbon dioxide absorber : metals ; 31 x 26 x 37.2 cm.

Subject: Jackson, Dennis Emerson, 1878-1980.
Subject: Carbon Dioxide Absorbers.
Subject: Anesthesia, Closed-Circuit.

Note Type: General
Notes: Date range is based on the year that Dr. Jackson first published an article
on apparatus for carbon dioxide absorption during anesthesia (1915) and the
first time that an image of the ‘cake pan’ was published (1916). The end date
is based on the year that the second edition of his textbook, Experimental
Pharmacology and Materia Medica, was first published (1939). The date range
could change if documentation indicates that it should be corrected.

Note Type: General
Notes: The title is based on the common name for the object.

Note Type: General
Notes: The alternate title, “Apparatus for closed ether anesthesia,” is based on the
caption for figure 116 in Dr. Jackson’s 1917 book (page 122); The alternate
title, Apparatus for the employment of closed ether anesthesia for ordinary
laboratory experiments,” is based on the title of Dr. Jackson’s 1916 article
in which the arrangement and use of the pan is described, and in which an
image of the pan was first published.

Note Type: General
Notes: Jackson DE. Anesthesia equipment from 1915 to 1954 and experiments leading to
its development. Anesthesiology. 1955;16(6):953-969.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Jackson DE. The employment of closed ether anesthesia for ordinary laboratory
experiments. J Lab Clin Med. November, 1916;2(2):95-102. https://archive.
org/details/journaloflaborat02cent. Accessed July 22, 2014.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Jackson DE. Experimental Pharmacology. St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Company;

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Jackson DE. Experimental Pharmacology and Materia Medica. 2nd ed. St. Louis:
C.V. Mosby Company; 1939:121-126.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Jackson DE. A new method for the production of general analgesia and
anaesthesia with a description of the apparatus used. J Lab Clin Med. October
1915;1(1):1-12. https://archive.org/details/journaloflaborat01cent. Accessed
July 22, 2014.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Morris LE. Roots of the closed absorption anesthesia system: contributions of
Dennis Emerson Jackson, PhD, MD (1878-1980), Circular. April, 1985:8-10.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Jackson DE. .Universal artificial respiration and closed anesthesia machine.
J Lab Clin Med. 1927;12:644-661.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Rendell-Baker L. Unsung heroes of anesthesia: Dennis E. Jackson, William B.
Neff, Robert A. Hingson. Anesth Hist Assoc Newsl. October, 1994;12(4):8-9.
https://ahahq.org/Bulletin/AHA_GB_1994-10.pdf. Accessed July 23, 2014.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One cake pan modified for use as a carbon dioxide absorber and reservoir for
the administration of closed anesthesia for dogs or cats in a laboratory
setting; The measurement in the Physical Description field is based on the
perspective of facing the respiration tube; The plastic bath cap is not part
of the measurement in the physical description field; The primary metal of
the pan may be ‘tinned iron’ as this is what Jackson recommended in his 1916
article (page 95); The upper edge of the pain turns outward to form a kind of
flange; About 1.5 cm below this, a second flange extends from the outer wall
of the pan; This second flange was soldered on; A respiratory tube extends
approximately 7 cm from the side of the pan; The respiratory tube is
approximately 2.7 cm in external diameter; Three other small openings with
short metal tubes extend approximately 2 cm outward from the pan; These
smaller tubes are also soldered into the sides of the pan, and have an
external diameter of approximately .7 cm; One is the oxygen inlet, one an
anesthetic inlet, and the third is an outlet; The oxygen inlet tube does not
extend toward the center of the pan and then downward as in Dr. Jackson’s
diagrams; It is not clear if this is because it became detached or because of
some other reason; The metal of the pan is corroded and rusted; There is no
marking on the pan; The bath cap is made of plastic and an elastic, fabric
band; With tissue stuffing for display purposes, the cap measures
approximately 28 x 29 x 12 cm.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch, September 16, 2013.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: Dennis E. Jackson, PhD, MD (1878-1980) constructed this breathing reservoir
and carbon dioxide (CO2) absorber from a cake pan, “bought for 5 cents at a
ten cent store.” Less sophisticated than the CO2 absorber in the closed
anesthesia system he introduced in 1915, this CO2 absorber was purposefully
constructed of simple and common materials to provide physiology students an
affordable means of administering effective anesthesia to dogs and cats in a
laboratory setting.

Connected via an extension, the cat or dog would breathe through the largest
tube that exits the side of the pan. A solution of sodium hydrate was poured
into the bottom of the pan to absorb exhaled CO2. Two of the small tubes
exiting the side of the pan were for the addition of oxygen and anesthetics
as needed, while the third functioned as an outlet and was clamped shut
unless needed to decrease the anesthetic concentration. The top of the pan
was sealed with a rubber bath cap (the plastic shower cap photographed with
the pan is for representation only). Dr. Jackson recommended a bath cap made
of very thin yellow rubber that cost about 25 cents, and cautioned that
‘higher priced caps’ were more likely to leak. He also provided instructions
for cleaning and storing the cap so that it could be used for weeks.

From 1915 to 1928, Dr. Jackson made more than twenty varieties of closed
anesthesia systems with CO2 absorbers. It was in a 1916 issue of the Journal
of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine that Dr. Jackson first described how to
construct and use his cake pan absorber. He was a founding editor of this
highly regarded journal, now titled, Translational Research.

Also of note, the Jackson Cake Pain was the basis for a CO2 absorber
introduced by Dr. Ralph Waters (1883-1979) in 1924: “The Waters To and Fro”.
As the adoption of closed anesthesia systems was slow and did not begin to
more widely disseminate until the 1930s, both physicians were far ahead of
their colleagues.

In 1918 Dr. Jackson moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he was professor of
pharmacology and therapeutics from 1918 to 1948. Dr. Jackson was also decades
ahead of his time in the use of ventilators, introducing his ventilator and
closed anesthesia machine for laboratory use in 1927. In recognition of his
numerous contributions to anesthesia, Dr. Jackson was awarded the ASA
Distinguished Service Award in 1963.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Stetson JB. Dennis Emerson Jackson (1878-1980). Atkinson RS, Boulton TB, eds.
The History of Anaesthesia. London … : Royal Society of Medicine Service ..
; 1989:564-571.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Morris LE. E.E. Jackson (1878-1980): A perspective of a centenarian. Atkinson
RS, Boulton TB, eds. The History of Anaesthesia. London … : Royal Society
of Medicine Service … ; 1989:571-574.