Robert Liston, first British surgeon to use ether

Robert Liston, first British surgeon to use ether

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Liston. Drawn portrait of Robert Liston (1794-1847), British surgeon. He was the first British doctor to use diethyl ether as an anaesthetic. Liston, the leading British surgeon of his day, was renowned for working 'with incredible dexterity and rapidity'. He was also famous for wearing a bottle green coat and rubber boots during operations. In 1846, Liston became the first British surgeon to use diethyl ether as an anaesthetic. After performing a leg amputation before an audience of students, Liston declared: 'This Yankee dodge, gentlemen, beats mesmerism hollow'.

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Keywords: anaesthesia, anaesthetic, anesthetic, diethyl ether, ether, liston, medical pioneer, pioneer, portraits, robert, surgeon, surname l

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