the search for an anesthetic - history

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before 1800

alcohol and opium were used

however they had litte sucess in easing pain during an operation

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in 1844 laughing gas was used

it was used in dentistry in the USA

it failed to ease pain (it just made them laugh) and the pateint remained concious

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ether was used in 1846.

it made patients totally unconcious and lasted a long time

some patients who where under the influence of ether would cough during the operation and be sick afterwards.

it was highly flammable and hard to transport due to it being in a heavy glass bottle

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chloroform was used in 1847.

it appeared to have little side effects and very effective.

hiwever it was difficult to get the dose right.

some patients died due to the effect it had on their heart.

but an inhaler was invented to regulate the dosage.

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1884 and 1905

in 1884 cocaine was used as a local anaesthetic

in 1905 a less addictive version - novocaine - was used as a general anaesthetic.

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