Anesthesia: Without it, Surgery Would Suck By Troy Vaden
When was the first real anesthetic discovered and how has it changed medicine? Ether was the first real anesthetic and it was invented around 1535 but wasn’t discovered as an anesthetic until 1846. Prior to 1846 alcohol, opium, and other substances were used but they didn’t work in every case and were not nearly as effective. Since October 16, 1846 surgery has been much less awful.
First Public Surgery Using Ether Ether’s first public use from anesthesia-nursing.com Ether was first brought to public attention by a man named William Morton. He made the first successful public surgery using ether at Massachusetts General Hospital and shocked the entire medical community when the patient wasn’t screaming.
William T. G. Morton From anesthesia-nursing.com Unfortunately for Morton the entire medical community also resented him for discovering this before them or for not including them in his research so the treated him like crap. Other doctors tried to claim that they discovered it before him like the chemist Dr. Charles T. Jackson, and Dr. Crawford Long claimed to have used it in surgeries four or five years earlier, but never showed it to the public. Even the clergy hated on him saying that what he created was evil and surgery was meant to be painful because of peoples sins.
Ether monument in Boston from anesthesia-nursing.com Morton tried to patent it as “Letheon” but everyone knew that it was just ether so he was unable to sell any. He also petitioned congress for years to recognize him as the discoverer of ether, but congress could not decide who was the principal discoverer between him, Long, and Jackson. Morton never received anything for his discovery, not even acknowledgement from the medical community and Morton ended up going bankrupt in 1863 about 17 years later. The Ether statue in Boston Massachusetts commemorates the act of discovering Ether and not who was involved.
Works Cited List <ul><li>Bellucci, G. (1994). The hope of anesthesia. The Lancet, 354 , SIV5. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from the Academic Search Premier database. </li></ul><ul><li>Fletcher, R. (2007). The history of ether, from six feet under. Boston Globe , 1. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from the ProQuest database. </li></ul><ul><li>Leake, C. D. (1925). Valerius Cordus and the discovery of ether. Isis , 7 , 14-24. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from the JSTOR database. </li></ul><ul><li>Massachusetts General Hospital. (2005). Conquering surgical pain: Four men stake their claim. Retrieved February 9, 2009, from http://neurosurgery.mgh.harvard.edu/History/ether3.htm . </li></ul><ul><li>Raper, H. (1945). Man against pain. New York: Prentice-Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, C. A. H. (1927). The discovery of anesthesia. The Scientific Monthly, 24 , 64-70. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from the JSTOR database. </li></ul>