First Use of Surgical Anesthesia

First Use of Surgical Anesthesia

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Credit: NYPL/SCIENCE SOURCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: First use of surgical anesthesia. The first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia, at the Massachusetts General Hospital, October 16 1846. Various anesthetics, from alcohol to opium, were used through history, but it was not until 1846 that a successful operation was demonstrated to the public and an account published. The anesthetist, seen here administering ether gas through the patient's mouth, was the American dentist William T.G. Morton (1819-1868). The operation was carried out to remove a tumor in the patient's neck. A bitter, unresolved dispute ensued between Morton and his colleagues as to who was the actual discoverer. Morton later died in poverty after suffering a mental breakdown.

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Keywords: american, anaesthetic, anaesthetise, anesthesia, anesthetic, anesthetist, art, artwork, bw, dental, dentist, drawing, engraving, ether, general anesthesia, historic, historical, history, hospital, illustration, male, man, massachusetts general hospital, medical, medicine, morton, operation, people, person, portrait, surgeon, surgery, tumor extraction, tumor removal, william t. g. morton, william thomas green morton

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