Hippocrates to Harrison : Anaesthesia introduction


HIPPOCRATES TO HARRISON


Introduction
Classical Works
Anaesthesia
Surgery
Anatomy
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Internal Medicine
Pathology
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Neurology and Psychiatry
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Who was Harrison?
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Anaesthesia

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The relief of pain by alcohol and opium was well known to the ancients and an alcoholic extract of opium was promoted by Paracelsus as "Laudinum" in the sixteenth century.

The opening of the world by exploration led to the observation of the use of acupuncture and hypnosis for pain relief, recognition of the muscle relaxant properties of curare and appreciation of the rapid onset of action achieved by smoking or injecting morphine. The addictive properties of the drug were unrecognised or ignored.

Early 19th century chemistry provided the knowledge of respiration and the volatile agents which permitted development of surgical anaesthesia later in the century. The first ether anaesthetics (1846) were given by William Morton in the United States for dental extractions. Later that year the eminent London surgeon Robert Liston performed an amputation under ether anaesthesia, and in 1847 Simpson introduced chloroform.