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Ether Anesthesia Essay

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At Massachusetts General Hospital ethers anesthesia essentially became a ground breaking moment in medical history. Prior to this amazing discovery, patient would be highly intoxicated or knocked on conscious to undergo medical procedures. In 1846 Dr. William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist, made medical history, he administered ether anesthetic to a patient via inhalation which made for a painless surgical procedure, the patient comfortable slept through the procedure and awoke with little to no pain ( Fenster et al , 2001). The Ether dome served as a surgical amphitheater between 1821 and 1867. The actual room has theater seating so there isn’t a bad seat in the house!
Ethers are a class of organic compounds that contain oxygen between two alkyl groups. It is “extremely flammable and colorless, sweet-smelling liquids at room temperature which has a low boiling point due to the lack of hydrogen bonding” (Schore et al, 2007). Some characteristics and properties of Ether are that it is slightly polar due because of the electronegativitity difference between the oxygen and carbon atoms, it is less soluble in water and has a low chemical reactivity. The specific type of Ether used in the
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The further it was researched the more it was realized it had many potential dangers. Ether anesthesia was a medical phenomenon that got surgical procedures started however “ether anesthesia typically leads to increased blood sugar and falling blood pressure, arrythmia’s ( abnormal heart rhythm), nausea and vomiting” ( Kuntz , et al 2005). This was also a dangerous gas to use in the operating rooms due to its high flammable content. This was also dangerous because there was no way to control the dosing of the particular agent being used. Ether is also “heavier than air, so if someone exposed to leaked ether passes out, they can be smothered” (Schore et al,
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