The discovery that revolutionized medicine. Curiosities about anesthesia

Until the discovery of anesthesia, pain during operations was calmed down with various substances such as opium, alcohol, mandrake or decoction of hashish. The results, however, were insignificant. The patient felt pain anyway, making him to move uncontrollably. In helping the medic came 4-5 persons, which kept the patient steady throughout the intervention.

The revolution in surgery occurred on October 16th 1864, when American dentist William Thomas Morton made the first operation under general anesthetic. He utilized ether in order to extract a patients tooth without pain, not before experimenting the substance on animals.

A year later, a Scottish obstetrician, Sir James Simpson, replaced ether with chloroform, and in 1874 the Frenchman Pierre Oré performed the first intravenous anesthesia. Thereafter, anesthesia with ether, chloroform and nitrous oxide have spread throughout the world.

In 1870s, the Scottish surgeon Joseph Lister discovered an additional treatment to anesthesia, which reduced mortality after amputation operations by 15%. It is about the antiseptic based on carbolic acid, which was meant to destroy microbes that can develop post-operative infections.

Over the years, medicine has advanced considerably, and today there are a variety of means and methods to reduce pain during the operation, but also after them. The different types of anesthesia are used according to patient needs and physical condition, mental state of each patient, so that the risks of surgery are minimized.

October 16th was established as the International Day of Anesthesiologist. In Moldovan hospitals there are working 1.100 anesthesiologist doctors, including anesthesiologist nurses and resident doctors.