A Brief Note On The Long Revolutionized Surgery Essay

1592 Words Apr 11th, 2016 7 Pages
Anesthesia is a crucial component to ensuring the comfort and safety of a patient during a surgery, but anesthetic methods were not developed until around the time these photographs were taken. Prior to the implementation of an anesthetic, surgeons used a variety of methods to lessen their patients’ pain with some measure of success. Some managed to get their hands on various narcotics including opium, cocaine, and marijuana; they were all very useful for numbing pain, but extremely addictive. Alcohol was also employed, but those not wealthy enough to afford true alcohol had to use mulberry or lettuce. Doctors would sometimes numb a limb with cold or by compressing it to cut off the blood flow, while others simply knocked people unconscious with a hit to the head or strangulation. Industrialized nations most commonly used alcohol and opium for anesthetics, which were the most effective anesthetics of the time but ultimately neither would numb completely. C.W. Long revolutionized surgery in the mid-1800s when he publicly administered the gas ether to a man undergoing an operation for a tumor. Notes were made that the man moved around during the surgery and made "extraordinary expressions," but he didn 't scream like someone who was having his body cut into and that 's ultimately what the doctors were seeking. Ether became the new anesthetic norm in surgeries for a few years, but it presented challenges as it can be quite volatile. Long exposure results in vomiting and…

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