Problems with the 3 main Anaesthetics

HideShow resource information

Problems with Nitrous Oxide

  • It was very weak
  • It did not make the patient completely unconcious so the patient still felt pain
1 of 3

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. 
2 of 3

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.

3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Medicine through time (OCR History A) resources »