The anesthesia industry was born in 1846 by a dentist named William Morton at Massachusetts General Hospital during a tumor removal surgery. Fast foreword to our modern day methods of anesthesia that are incredibly safe and reliably effective without adverse side effects. Anesthesia has made a long stretch throughout history constantly evolving through the discovery of new anesthesia medications. Medications that can help sedate patients who cannot undergo the typical anesthesia methods due to their complications and or circumstances.
The form of anesthesia was first used is called sulfuric ether, which renders a patient unconscious upon inhalation of the substance. While this discovery and implementation was a huge stride in itself, other medical physicians around the world quickly attached themselves to the idea and sought out something that would not include throat irritation, initial onset physical agitation, and irritation of the nasal passages. This is how the drug Chloroform was discovered and subsequently brought into the limelight by Queen Victoria. After she utilized the drug as anesthesia during the birth of Prince Leopold, the demand for Chloroform skyrocketed across the globe.
In the 1930’s a drug called thiopental was introduced that was effective in intravenously rendering patients unconscious without the unpleasant side effects that frequently happened during initiation. This method worked well, however very few medical professionals were trained with enough expertise to use this method properly. In 1937 the first academic department of anesthesia was established at Oxford University. As more and more individuals were trained to administer anesthesia and more forms of medication were discovered, by 1950 all of the same fundamental components we use in modern day medicine were present.
Only a small number of medications that were utilized in the 1950’s for anesthesia are in use today, however the biggest changes between then and now lie within the method rather then the medications themselves. The introduction of adequate sterilization practices and disposable sterile syringes and sterile needles, infections were not transmitted via medical procedures and bacteria did not enter the blood stream as easily. Computerized machines eliminate the human error in medication dosing, and sophisticated monitoring equipment alerts surgeons to any emergent problems that arise during surgery.
The impeccable safety record of modern day anesthesia is the result of dedication professionals who go through a decade of education and training in order to specialize in the administration of anesthesia. In addition, clinical research that has been done involving groundbreaking new technology has minimized the element of human error in the anesthesia process. Research into new methods and practices has also greatly contributed to the success that has been achieved through the use of modern day anesthesia.