By Stephanie Snow
Inhalational anaesthesia used to be the 1st scientific and medical strategy to develop into a sound technique of discomfort reduction. Its creation to medication in 1846 sparked the most excessive public debates of the interval. It challenged spiritual ideas and at its middle posed one in every of medicine's basic questions: probability as opposed to good thing about clinical intervention. This e-book explains how the creation of anaesthesia intertwines with a large choice of alternative 19th century scientific and cultural concerns: the growing to be elitism of surgical procedure, the rising professionalism of drugs, the preferred and revolutionary tradition of technology and the secularization of society.
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Extra resources for Operations without Pain: The Practice and Science of Anaesthesia in Victorian Britain (Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History)
The doctor, Crawford Williamson Long, knew from his own experience that ether often removed the sense of pain, so he suggested the operation be performed after ether breathing. 156 He did not report his results until others had gained credit for a discovery which by then had swept the world. Why was his work not news? Ether was first synthesised in 1540 and it became well known as an anti-spasmodic for asthma and as a useful solvent that evaporated quickly, one that could cool and numb the skin.
71 Moreover, it is now clear that the last decades of the eighteenth century saw a burgeoning in the use of opiates. 72 And unlike the Bristol cavortings, opiates for the sick and 20 Operations Without Pain dying chimed well with strengthening evangelical concerns over the manner of one’s death. For most of the eighteenth century, the priest rather than the doctor had held sway over the deathbed, reflecting the cultural dominance of the religious rituals of preparing the soul for death. 76 Because evangelical doctrine supported the possibility of individual salvation right up to the final moment of death, the final hours and days of life were charged with great significance; a rapid death was feared because it allowed no time for spiritual repentance.
Enlightenment to Reform 25 Hickman, Marshall Hall and the suspension of life Trained in Edinburgh at a time when the medical school was at its peak, Hickman had sat the exams of the Royal College of Surgeons and joined the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, before establishing himself in practice in Shropshire in the early 1820s. 104 Rather, Hickman wanted to ease the suffering of surgical pain. His letter described how he had created an artificial state of ‘suspended animation’ in animals through the inhalation of carbon dioxide gas, respired air and excluded air.