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Anesthesia of the Industrial Revolution

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james liang

on 20 June 2015

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Transcript of Anesthesia of the Industrial Revolution

Anesthesia of the Industrial Revolution
Modern Anesthesia
How it Helped the Industrial Revolution
Before its invention, the fix for the injury was often far worse than the injury itself. One of the greatest challenges to pulling a tooth or removing a limb was restraining the patient during the process, and substances like alcohol and opium did little to improve the experience. Today, of course, we can thank anesthesia for the fact that few of us have any recollection of painful surgeries at all.
The invention anesthesia brought many worker families comfort knowing that if they break a bone, they won't have to go through a painful surgical process, and more of a comfortable one
So What is Anaesthesia
Early Anesthetics
Local Anesthesia
The start of modern Local Anesthetics was in 1884 in the medical school of Vienna, Austria, where 2 yound men had just completed their medical studies, and were to leave their mark on the 20th century. One was Sigmund Freud and the other was Carl Koller. They were classmates and good friends.

Anesthesia is the state of insensibility, a state where no pain can be felt, used widely in dental and surgical procedures so that the patient will be comfortably ‘asleep’ or paralyzed during the process.

Back in
people used things like
as sedatives.
These forms of Anesthesia dated back to as early as 3400BC in ancient Mesopotamia by Sumerians.Then later on, different civilizations had their own sedating methods, including mandrake juice by the Ancient Egyptians, opium gas by Early Arabs and herbs and wine by the ancient Chinese. These forms of anesthesia had a lot of problems, for example, all of these forms of anesthesia were general narcotics, which numbed the whole body, and was not strong enough to do surgery on extremely fragile areas of the body, like the eye. Also not many of these civilizations knew how much of the drugs were appropriate for their procedures, and often overdosed or under dosed causing the patients to faint in pain, go brain dead, or in more extreme cases die.
Did I mention that surgeries of the time before modern anesthesia was extremely unpopular, just maybe because of how much it hurt, how little we knew about sedatives and how many died during the process.
1772, English scientist discovered nitrous oxide, thought to be lethal like other nitrogen oxides, but in 1799 British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy decided to try it on himself. Amazingly, he found that it made him laugh, so he nicknamed it laughing gas. Davy wrote about the anesthetic properties of nitrous oxide, and the issue wasn’t pursued any further
October 16 1846, dentist William Thomas Green Morton conducted the first public demonstration of the inhalational anesthetic using ether. He received a US patent for his substance, and tried to hide its anesthetic nature, referring to it as Letheon, but news quickly spread by the late 1846. Not long after, respected surgeons in Europe including Liston, Dieffenbach, Pirogov, and Syme quickly undertook numerous operations with ether. Though ether was successful, the drawbacks, including excessive vomiting and its flammability led to it’s replacement with chloroform.
Choloroform was discovered in 1831 by American physician Samuel Guthrie. Its anesthetic properties were noted 16 years later by Marie Jean Pierre Flourens, which then spread quickly among doctors. It gained royal approval in 1853 when John Snow gave it to Queen Victoria during the birth of Prince Leopold, making everyone trusting the substance. Unfortunately, though free of ether's flammability and consequent explosion hazard, chloroform is not as safe of a substance, especially when used by untrained practitioners, whom were sometimes pressured into giving anesthetics at the time, leading to many preventable deaths.
The royal approval allowed many people to trust anesthesia as it was still a new technology during those times. Queen Victoria's actions definitively aided medicinal advances slightly during that time.
Koller, who hoped for a career in ophthalmology, spent the summer working in a lab. One day, a colleague placed some cocaine in his mouth from the point of his penknife. He found it remarkable that it numbed his toungue. Then all of a sudden, he realised that cocaine was the the local anesthetic which everyone had been searching for. He went straight to the laboratory and asked the assistant to help him make up a solution from the powder.

Koller from this hoped that the cocaine would anesthetize the eye. A few grains of the substance were dissolved in a small quantity of distilled water. A drop of solution was trickled into the eye of a frog. A few seconds later, they tested the cornea by touching it with the eye of a needle. The frog did not move. It permitted its cornea to be touched without a trace of reflex action.
They repeated the test on a rabbit and a dog and the same thing occurred. They had discovered the trick to numbing one particular area of the body, the technology _we now know as local anesthesia

The Story
Or, this might happen to you after your anesthesia
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