Send to

Choose Destination
Anaesthesiol Reanim. 1996;21(6):144-8.

[The 16th October 1846 and its outcome].

[Article in German]

Author information

Universittsklinik für Anaesthesiologie und Intensivtherapie, Medizinischen Fakultät der Otto-von-Guericke-Universitt Magdeburg.


Morton's first successful public demonstration of ether anaesthesia for a surgical operation, performed on October 16, 1846 in Boston/Massachusetts, had far-reaching consequences. The first effect was the surprisingly fast propagation of the new way of preventing pain to nearly all parts of the globe. Anaesthesia made it possible to perform operations previously considered impossible under conditions now acceptable for the patient. From the beginning, recurring side effects and complications made it necessary to collect and report these and to look for improvements or alternatives. This led to the development of local and regional pain relief procedures. Much later, the special field of anaesthesiology emerged. Today, 150 years after Morton's pioneer work, anaesthesiology comprises not only pain relief for operative procedures but also responsibilities in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine and in the treatment of patients with chronic pain. Accordingly, without the least disparagement of daily interdisciplinary cooperation, one can wholeheartedly support Mayrhofer's view that the "Century of Surgeons" has given way to the "Century of Anaesthesiologists".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center