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Anesthesiology. 2016 Feb;124(2):301-11. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000955.

An Anesthesiologist's Perspective on the History of Basic Airway Management: The "Preanesthetic" Era-1700 to 1846.

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From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin.


Basic airway management modern history starts in the early 18th century in the context of resuscitation of the apparently dead. History saw the rise and fall of the mouth-to-mouth and then of the instrumental positive-pressure ventilation generated by bellows. Pulmonary ventilation had a secondary role to external and internal organ stimulation in resuscitation of the apparently dead. Airway access for the extraglottic technique was to the victim's nose. The bellows-to-nose technique was the "basic airway management technique" applicable by both medical and nonmedical personnel. Although the techniques had been described at the time, very few physicians practiced glottic (intubation) and subglottic (tracheotomy) techniques. Before the anesthetic era, positive-pressure ventilation was discredited and replaced by manual negative-pressure techniques. In the middle of the 19th century, physicians who would soon administer anesthetic gases were unfamiliar with the positive-pressure ventilation concept.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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