Study of Pain Relief

4-menImage Source: http://neurosurgery.mgh.harvard.edu/history/ether3.htm

1. Anesthesiology is the study of pain relief…

2.  In the mid 1800’s, science began to understand the place that anesthesia (and performing surgery while the patient ‘was under’) could have on science 1

3.  Most likely a doctor out of Georgia, Crawford Long, was the first to use ether gas to put his patients under while performing surgery

  • This would have been in 1841
  • Imagine the agony that you would experience going through an operation fully awake 2

4.  In 1845 a dentist out of Connecticut, Horace Wells, used Nitrous Oxide while performing tooth extractions 3

5.  In 1846, a Boston dentist named William Morton used “ether” to perform the first public surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Another physician, Charles Jackson, claimed to have advised Morton and it ended in a legal case
  • Ultimately the US Congress credited this new approach of painless surgery to Morton 4