Modern Anesthesia Is Developed - Research Article from Science and Its Times

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Overview

The discovery and development of anesthesia is one of the most important medical discoveries of the nineteenth century. It not only relieved pain, it also allowed doctors to perform life-saving surgical procedures, thereby increasing a person's lifespan and quality of life.

Background

Although pain was always assumed to be inevitable during surgery, many substances and concoctions were used to relieve pain over the centuries. Most frequently various plant extracts such as opium or preparations containing alcohol were used as anesthetics. Sometimes these substances, along with the speed of a skillful surgeon, helped the patient survive painful procedures. Yet such methods of pain relief were inconsistent at best.

This rendering by an unknown artist depicts James Young Simpson's accidential discovery of chloroform. (Wellcome Institute. Reproduced by permission.) This rendering by an unknown artist depicts James Young Simpson's accidential discovery of chloroform. (Wellcome Institute. Reproduced by permission.)

Events leading to modern surgical pain relief began in England in the 1770s. Joseph Priestley...


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This section contains 1,502 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Modern Anesthesia Is Developed Encyclopedia Article
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