The History of Anesthesia Essay

Decent Essays

Mallory Whitson


1st Period

2 February 2010


Anesthesia is the loss of feeling or sensation. It may be accomplished without the loss of consciousness, or with partial or total loss of consciousness. Anesthesia has not been around forever, but there is a background history of its creation and the primitive anesthetics used before anesthesia was discovered. Today there are many different anesthetics and delivery methods dependent to the type of procedure. Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are a crucial part of the surgical team. Without anesthesia where would we be today?

“The first recorded use of anesthesia dates back to the ancient Incas. Shamas got coked-up chewing coca leaves and …show more content…

A person by the name of Morton “borrowed” his method and performed it in front of famous surgeons. For years they could not decide which man should be credited as the father of anesthesia so both Morton and Long share this honorable position (History). In Boston there is a statue that stands, erected to the Father of Anesthesiology. If someone were to look closely at the statue, they would see that there is no name listed because there is no one Father of Anesthesiology.

There is general, regional and local anesthesia. In general anesthesia, one is unconscious and has no awareness or other feelings. There are a number of general anesthetic drugs such as gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and medications introduced through an IV. In regional anesthesia, the anesthesiologist makes and injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of the body that requires surgery. The patient may stay awake, or may be given a sedative, either way they do not see or feel the actual surgery taking place. There are several kinds of regional anesthetics. The two most common are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia. In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of the body requiring minor surgery. No matter what anesthetic is received the patient will not have feeling during the surgery.


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