Problems with Nitrous Oxide
- It was very weak
- It did not make the patient completely unconcious so the patient still felt pain
Problems with Ether:
- It was highly flammable
- Irritated patients lungs so they coughed even when they were unconcious
- It made patients vomit
- Produced very deep sleep which could last for days
- It had to be carried in large heavy glass bottles which were difficult for the surgeon to carry around with them.
Simpson & Choloroform
Simpson's discovery of choloroform was an important advance in Surgery when ether was already acailable because choloroform did not have any of the problems ether did so was a much better anaesthetic.
Problems with Choloroform
- It was difficult to get the dosage right i.e. if you had too little you still felt pain, if you had too much you could die. ( Hannah Greener died in 1848 due to an overdose),
- Damaged the liver
- Affected the heart; a number of young physically fit patients died after inhaling it!
However in 1848 John Snow developed a choloroform inhaler which regulated the dosage.