How was pain conquered?

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  • Objection to using anaesthetics
    • Some surgeons were used to operating quickly and on a conscious patient.
      • A few army surgeons during the Crimean War(1853-56) should "dutifully" put up with the pain.
    • Early days of chloroform- some patients died.
      • This was because men and women of different sizes need different amounts of chloroform.
      • Most famous case: Hannah Greener (died 1848) during an operation to remove her toenail.
        • This was because men and women of different sizes need different amounts of chloroform.
      • The was religious objections to the use of chloroform during childbirth.
        • It was thought to be God's will and a punishment for sin.
    • Most objections were overcome by royal example.
      • By 1850, Queen Victoria had many difficult labours, Prince Albert (husband) was convinced by Dr. John Snow that anaesthetics were safe.
        • April 7th 1853, Snow gave Queen Victoria chloroform to painlessly and successfully give birth to Prince Leopold.
    • For patients the conquering of pain was a massive step forward, the introduction itself did not revolutionise surgery.
      • Because there was still a high death rate from infections. Dying of infection at the time was known as 'hospitalism' or 'hospital fever'.
        • It would be another decade before hospitals conquered infections.

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