Tag Archives: Anesthesia

Pain versus survival

Marissa Armoogam Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies   Painting of Jan De Doot by Carel van Savoyen. 1650s. Portrait Collection of the Laboratory of Pathology, Leiden University. Via Wikimedia. Pain has long been a given in any surgical procedure, but thanks to the many advances in medicine and particularly in anesthesia, the experience of insurmountable […]

The “Ether Controversy”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Warren and Morton’s operation in the Ether Dome, restaged with Mass General physicians assuming the roles of the original participants. Warren Zapol, MD, chief of anesthesia and critical care, starred as Dr. Morton, while Philip Kistler, MD, director of the Mass General stroke unit, played Dr. Warren. […]

Rage against the machine

Kaitlin Kan Villanova, Pennsylvania, United States   Isle of Lethe, zentangle. Drawing by Kaitlin Kan. It was almost as if the neuromodulation clinic was the machine itself. The entire ward was U-shaped, with each arm housing preparation and recovery and the treatment suite nestled in the middle. Each patient was scheduled to the moment; nurses […]

George Crile Sr., founder of the Cleveland Clinic

Portrait of G. W. Crile. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Early days George Crile was an exceptional man, a skilled surgeon who lived at a time when American medicine was emerging from its horse and buggy period and was embracing the principles of aseptic surgery and scientific medicine. Always full of new ideas, he was […]

Crawford W. Long, first use of ether anesthesia

Crawford Williamson Long (1815–1878) is best known for his first use of ether as an anesthetic. He graduated from medical school in Pennsylvania and walked the hospitals in New York. He then returned home to set up practice in Jefferson, Georgia, a village some 140 miles from a railroad, where professional visits were made on […]

Presentism

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   “Elihu Yale; William Cavendish, the second Duke of Devonshire; Lord James Cavendish; Mr. Tunstal; and an Enslaved Servant” Previously hung at Woodbridge Hall of Yale University. Now at the Yale center for British Art. Yale Center for British Art, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons  The Oxford English Dictionary […]

“Gentlemen! This is no humbug.”

Summer A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   First Operation Under Ether, by Robert C. Hinckley, Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1882-1893 (Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology) Source The words “Gentlemen! This is no humbug” is one of the most famous statements in the history of […]

Notes on a first abortion

Henry Bair  Stanford, California, United States   Mother and Child by the Sea. Johan Christian Dahl. 1830. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. The first time I saw a late-term abortion by dilation and evacuation, I was surprised that it was a fairly minor procedure. I was to observe the termination at twenty-three weeks of […]

Alfred Skirrow Robinson: the colorful life of a Roaring Twenties surgeon

Stephen Martin Durham, UK & Thailand   Fig 1. Bentley Speed Six. Source: Craig Howell, CC BY 2.0,  Wikimedia In 1926 my grandfather started work for Dr. A.S. Robinson in Redcar, a small town on the Yorkshire coast. The doctor needed a driver—at least that was the plan at first. He sent him for a […]

Harvey Cushing: Surgeon, Author, Soldier, Historian 1869-1939

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Harvey Williams Cushing. Photograph by W.(?)W.B. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Harvey Cushing was a third-generation physician, born to a family of New England Puritans who had migrated to Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid 1830s. His father and grandfather were successful physicians; family members on both […]