A mar­vel of mod­ern times

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Anaes­the­sia comes from the Greek words mean­ing ‘‘with­out’’ and ‘‘sen­sa­tion’’.

Be­fore mod­ern anaes­thet­ics were de­vel­oped the hall­mark of a good sur­geon was speed – the quicker a sur­geon could op­er­ate the less time the pa­tient was in pain.

Pa­tients might have been given al­co­hol or opium and then been held down for the op­er­a­tion.

The de­vel­op­ment of anaes­thet­ics gave sur­geons time to op­er­ate more skil­fully and un­der­take more com­plex op­er­a­tions.

The first pub­lic demon­stra­tion of the use of ether for an op­er­a­tion was on Oc­to­ber 16, 1846, in Bos­ton, in the United States.

The first time ether was used for surgery in New Zealand was in Septem­ber 1847.

Now it is es­ti­mated that 4 mil­lion anaes­thet­ics are ad­min­is­tered in New Zealand and Aus­tralia each year.

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