2976 WORDS


I will be telling you my short little paper on the
History of Anesthesia.  I will be telling what some
terms mean that will be used in anesthesia history.
Also I will be telling a some dates from years before
our time on how anesthesia came from and who was
there, and what drugs came out.  
First I will be starting out with several definition
of the term anesthesia.  The absence of normal
sensitiation, especially to pain, as induced by an
anesthetic substance or by hypnosis or as occurs with
traumatic or pathophysiologic damage to nerve tissue.
Anesthesia induced for medical or surgical purposes
may be topical, local, regional, or general and is
named for the anesthetic agent used, the method of the
procedure followed, or the area or organ anesthetized.
The people who are permitted to give anesthesia to a
patient is an anesthesiologist or a Certified
Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). (Mosby’s Pocket
Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health)
There is also two different ways of describing
Anesthesia you could either call it anesthesia or
In the next couple paragraphs I will be going over
ways on how anesthesia would be given to a patient who
will be going under a surgery.
General anesthesia is the most common way that
anesthesia is given to a patient.  The absence of
sensation and consciousness as induced by various
anesthetic agents, given by inhalation or intravenous
injection.  Most of the time a general anesthesia is
given to the patient through an IV to the patient.
Local anesthesia is another common way of inducing a
patient.  The administration of a local anesthetic
agent into tissues to induce the absence of sensation
in a small area of the body.  Topical anesthesia is a
surface analgesia produced by application of a topical
anesthetic in the form of a solution, gel, or ointment
to the skin, mucous membrane, or cornea.  Regional
anesthesia is an anesthesia of an area of the body by
injecting a local anesthetic to block a group of
sensory nerve fibers.  Next one would be a caudal
anesthesia which would an injection of an agent into
the caudal part of the epidural space through the
sacral hiatus to anesthetize sacral and lower lumbar
nerve roots.

An epidural anesthesia is an injection A type of

block in which a local anesthetic is injected into the
epidural space surrounding the dural membrane, which
contains cerebrospinal fluid and spinal nerves.  The
last most common way of getting an anesthesia adjant
is inhalation.  In halation is a surgical narcosis
achieved by the inhalation of an anesthetic gas or a
The word anesthesia comes from a “Every body wants to
have a hand in a great discovery. All I will do is to
give you a hint or two as to names--or the name---to
be applied to the state produced and the agent. The
state should, I think, be called ‘Anaesthesia’ (from
the Greek word anaisthesia, ‘lack of sensation’). This
signifies insensibility ... The adjective will be
‘Anaesthetic’. Thus we might say the state of
Anaesthesia, or the anaesthetic state” (The American
Dictionary of English Words).  
The best way for me to tell you about how anesthesia
came along I will tell you in a better way.  The
history of anesthesia is pretty long. Alcohol, herbs,
hypnosis, acupuncture, and "the bullet" had been
around for centuries before the "discovery" of
anesthesia. Diethyl ether also had been around for a
while before its first documented use for anesthesia
in 1842 by Crawford Long, a rural physician in
Georgia. He removed some small masses in the neck of a

patient after administering ether via a towel. The fee
for this first surgical anesthetic was $2.25,
including the ether, amazingly close to today's rates!
Unfortunately, he didn't get around to reporting his
experience until 1849.   By that time the well known
public demonstration by William Morton at MGH had
already taken place already.  Psychopharmacology,
study of the relationship between drugs and brain
function, including mood, perceptions, and behavior.
Psychopharmacology is a branch of pharmacology, the
study of the action of drugs on living organisms.
Psychopharmacology is employed in psychiatry,
psychology, neurology, and in medical specialties
concerned with brain function.  Throughout history,
almost every culture has sought ways to alter
consciousness by experimenting with plant substances
that yield many of the psychoactive drugs of today.
Important developments in ancient psychopharmacology
include the discovery and use of cannabis and alcohol,
and opium, in Europe and Asia and of caffeine,
nicotine, and cocaine, and hallucinogenic plants such
as peyote and psilocybin in the pre-Columbian
Americas. Developments in the 19th century include the
isolation of the potent analgesic morphine from opium;
the introduction of the anesthetics nitrous oxide,
ether, and choloroform and

the early

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