Timeline of anesthesiology

From Timelines
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a timeline of anesthesiology.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
Ancient times Attempts to alleviate the pain of disease, injury or simple surgical procedures by inducing unconsciousness are almost as old as civilization itself. Most involve ingestion of ethanol and or herbal mixtures, but ‘knock-out’ blows to the head and carotid artery compression (carotid derives from the Greek for stupor) are also described.[1]
Middle ages Di-ethyl ether, the first agent to be demonstrated successfully in public, is originally synthesized (by the action of sulphuric acid on ethanol) in the 13th century, and there are early reports of both analgesic and soporific effects.[1]
19th century "During most of the nineteenth century, the vast majority of notable advances in the science of anesthesiology were achieved by basic scientists [10]. Among physiologists, Pierre Jean Marie Flourens, François Magendie, and Claude Bernard are respected for their work on the effects and site of action of anesthetic gases. Pharmacologists and chemists, including Joseph Friedrich von Mering, Hans Meyer, and Charles Overton, synthesized novel drugs and investigated the properties that enabled a chemical to function as an anesthetic. Surgeons, obstetricians, and dentists contributed the bulk of clinical advances in the field [10]. Most of the practicing anesthetists functioned primarily as technicians who made meager contributions to advancing the scientific underpinnings of the discipline. But in the late nineteenth century, this would begin to change."[2] In the 1980s, a movement opposing all types of human suffering is promoted by surgeon English physician Henry Hill Hickman.[2]
20th century By 1950 all of the elements of modern anaesthesia are in place. Very few of the drugs of that time are still in use, but their modern successors are really only improvements on the same theme.[1]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Location
c.4000 BC Drug Opium poppy is depicted in Sumerian artifacts.[3]
c.2250 BC Field development Babylonians relieve toothache with henbane (Hyoscyamus niger).[3]
c.1600 BC Field development Acupuncture is practiced in China.[3] China
c.600 BC Drug Indian physician Sushruta uses cannabis vapors to sedate surgical patients. Over ensuing centuries, other herbs like aconitum would supplement that sedation in India and eventually in China.[3] India
c.400 BC Field development Assyrians use carotid compression to produce brief unconsciousness before circumcision or cataract surgery. Egyptians employ the same technique for eye surgery.[3]
64 AC Drug Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides recommends mandrake boiled in wine to "cause the insensibility of those who are to be cut or cauterized."[3]
c.160 AC Field development Chinese physician Hua Tuo performs surgery with his general anesthetic Mafeisan, a wine and herbal mixture.[3] China
500 Field development Hippocrates describes BC Opium analgesia.[4]
c.800 – 1200s Field development Herbal mixtures including opium, mandrake, henbane, and/or hemlock are introduced and steeped into a soporific or sleep-bearing sponge ("spongia somnifera"). The sponge is dampened so that anesthetic vapors or drippings can be applied to a patient's nostrils. These sponges are likely historical cousins to the so-called Roman or Arabic sponges (used during crucifixions, surgeries, and other painful events).[3]
c.1350 Field development Inca shamans chew coca leaves mixed with vegetable ash and drip their cocaine-laden saliva into the wounds of patients.[3] South America
1540 Field development German physician Valerius Cordus describes a revolutionary technique to synthesize ether, which involves adding sulfuric acid to ethyl alcohol.[2] Cordus synthesizes diethyl ether by distilling ethanol and sulphuric acid into what he calls "sweet oil of vitriol."[3]
1596 Field development The South American arrow poison is described.[4]
1628 Literature English physician William Harvey publishes in Frankfurt his completed treatise on the circulatory system, Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, establishing the circulation of the blood.[4][5] Germany
1659 Field development Anglo-Irish chemist Robert Boyle pioneers intravenous therapy by injecting opium through a goose quill into a dog's vein.[3] United Kingdom
1665 Field development The first injection of opium is performed into a dog.[4]
1754 Scientific development Joseph Black discovers carbon dioxide.[1]
1771 Scientific development English chemist and natural philosopher Joseph Priestley discovers "airs" of oxygen. Priestley becomes the first to isolate oxygen.[2][1] United Kingdom
1772 Scientific development Joseph Priestley discovers nitrous oxide.[4][1] United Kingdom
1779 Field development German doctor Franz Mesmer describes using magnets and hypnosis to cure many ailments.[3]
1796 Field development James Moore compresses nerves to produce local anesthesia.[4]
1796 German pharmacist Wilhelm August Lampadius discovers carbon disulfide, which is later used as treatment for a variety of diseases and is tried as an anesthetic agent before the advent of chloroform.[6] Germany
1799 Field development British chemist Humphry Davy introduces nitrous oxide into medical practice.[2] United Kingdom
1800 Field development Humphry Davy observes "As nitrous oxide in its extensive operation appears capable of destroying physical pain, it may probably be used with advantage during surgical operations in which no great effusion of blood takes place."[3] United Kingdom
1804 Drug Japanese surgeon Hanaoka Seishū formulates his general anesthetic tsusensan.[3] Japan
1805 Drug German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner isolates a new substance from opium, which he later names "morphium" after Morpheus, the god of dreams.[3] Germany
1818 Field development British scientist Michael Faraday, after studying the inhalation of ether, publishes his findings, including soporific and analgesic effects.[1] United Kingdom
1824 Field development English physician Henry Hill Hickman describes carbon dioxide anesthesia for animals.[3][6] United Kingdom
1829 Field development French physician Jules Germain Cloquet in Paris uses hypnosis for mastectomy.[4][7] France
1831 Drug Chloroform is discovered independently by American physician Samuel Guthrie, French scientist Eugène Soubeiran, and German chemist Justus von Liebig.[3][8][9][10] United States, France, Germany
1845 Field development American dentist Horace Wells demonstrates nitrous oxide anesthesia for a tooth extraction near Massachusetts General Hospital.[3] United States
1846 Field development American dentist William T. G. Morton becomes the first in the world to publicly and successfully demonstrate the use of ether anesthesia for surgery.[3] United States
1847 Scottish obstetrician James Young Simpson begins administering chloroform to women for pain during childbirth. Chloroform quickly becomes a popular anesthetic for surgery and dental procedures as well. [3] United Kingdom
1847 Field development The first veterinary treatment using anaesthesia begins at Veterinary College London.[4] United Kingdom
1848 Fifteen-year-old Hannah Greener dies after chloroform administration (for toenail removal), in the first anesthetic death.[4]
1853 Field development Charles Pravaz and Alexander Wood independently invent the hollow hypodermic needle, which is attached to an earlier invention, the syringe, popularized in 1845 by Francis Rynd from Ireland[3]
1853 – 1857 Field development English physician John Snow popularizes obstetric anesthesia by chloroforming Queen Victoria for the birth of Prince Leopold (1853) and Princess Beatrice (1857). Snow books On the Inhalation of the Vapour of Ether and On Chloroform and Other Anaesthetics enlighten physician-anesthetists.[3] United Kingdom
1857 Field development French physiologist Claude Bernard shows that a strongly paralysing poison such as curare (the first isolated neuromuscular blocking agent) blocks the passage of nerve impulses through the junction of a nerve and muscle.[11][12][13][2]
1860 Drug Cocaine is isolated.[4]
1863 Field development American medicine man Gardner Quincy Colton of the Cooper Institute in New York reintroduces nitrous oxide.[3] United States
1867 Literature British surgeon Joseph Lister publishes paper On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery, thus introducing antiseptic surgery.[4][14][15] United Kingdom
1868 Field development Edmund Andrews (1824-1904) of Chicago introduces use of a nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen as an anesthetic.[16][3] United States
1884 Drug Viennese ophthalmologist Karl Koller introduces cocaine as an anesthetic for eye surgery.[3] Austria
1889 Field development Henry I. Dorr is appointed as the world's 1st Professor of the Practice of Dentistry, Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia at the Philadelphia College of Dentistry.[3] United States
1891 Literature The Dental and Surgical Microcosm is published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the world's first journal "devoted chiefly to the science of Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics."[3] United States
1893 Organization The London Society of Anaesthetists, the world's first anesthesia society, is formed in London.[3] United Kingdom
1894 Field development Medical students Ernest Amory Codman and Harvey Cushing develop the first anesthesia record using observed respiratory rate and palpated pulse rate. By 1901, Cushing would add blood pressure measurement by Riva Rocci sphygmomanometry; by 1903, respiratory rate and heart rate as auscultated by precordial stethoscope.[3] United States
1894 Field development Harvey Cushing advocates the use of anaesthetic record charts.[17][6][18][4] United States
1898 Field development German surgeon August Bier performs the first operation under spinal anaesthesia.[3]
1901 Field development Jean-Anthanase Sicard and Fernand Cathelin from France describe independently caudal epidural analgesia.[3] France
1902 Field development Mathias J. Seifert in Chicago coins the words "anesthesiology" and "anesthesiologist." Seifert asserts that an "anesthetist" is a technician and an "anesthesiologist" is the scientific authority on anesthesia and anesthetics."[3] United States
1905 Organization The Long Island Society of Anesthetists (LISA) is founded as the first professional anesthesia society in the United States.[3] United States
1905 Drug German chemist Alfred Einhorn first synthesizes procaine and names the substance "novocain".[3] Germany
1909 Field development Endotracheal anesthesia is introduced by Samuel James Meltzer and John Auer.[6]
1914 Literature The American Journal of Surgery begins publication of the Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia and Analgesia, which would endure until 1926.[2] United States
1914 Field development Dr. Dennis E. Jackson develops a carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbing anesthesia system, allowing for a patient to re-breathe their exhaled air containing the anesthetic, cleansed of the carbon dioxide, resulting in the use of less anesthetic and the avoidance of waste. [3]
1916 Literature Paluel J. Flagg publishes The Art of Anaesthesia.[19]
1917 Field development British anesthetist Henry Edmund Gaskin Boyle first describes the anaesthetic machine (also known as Boyle's machine).[4] United Kingdom
1920 Field development Arthur Guedel first describes four stages of general anesthesia as induced by ether in humans. His stages can be loosely applied to anesthesia produced by inhalants other than ether and injectables.[20][21][22]
1920 Field development British anesthetist Ivan Magill and Stanley Rowbotham develop endotracheal anesthesia.[4] United Kingdom
1922 Literature Current Researches in Anesthesia and Analgesia is launched in Cleveland by Francis H. McMechan as the world's first journal published by an anesthesia society, the International Anesthesia Research Society.[3] United States
1923 Field development The first ethylene-oxygen surgical anesthetic is administered by Dr. Isabella Herb, who demonstrates the remarkable trance-like state that low-dose ethylene can induce in human subjects.[3]
1924 Dr. Ralph Waters develops the first simple and easily transportable absorber, known as the "Waters Canister" and the "Waters To-and-Fro."[3]
1930 Field development Brian Sword introduces the circle absorption system.[3]
1932 Organization The Association of anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland is formed.[4] United Kingdom, Ireland
1934 Drug Thiopentone is introduced into clinical use.[23][24][25][4] United States
1935 Field development The first diploma in anesthesia in England is awarded.[6] United Kingdom
1942 Drug Muscle relaxants are introduced.[4]
1945 Organization The American Society of Anesthesiologists is established.[4] United States
1951 Drug Charles Suckling in Manchester first synthesizes Halothane, a general inhalation anesthetic used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia.[26][27][28][4] United Kingdom
1955 Organization The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) is established in Scheveningen, Netherlands, at the first World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (WCA).[3] Netherlands
1960 Drug Methoxyflurane is introduced into clinical practice.[26]
1963 "Dr. Edmond I. Eger, II describes minimum alveolar concentration (MAC), later characterized as "the concentration [of inhaled anesthetic] producing immobility in 50% of patients subjected to a noxious stimulus.""[3]
1964 Drug Team led by Günter Corssen begins human trials of the dissociative intravenous anesthetic ketamine.[3] United States
1964 Drug Janssen in Belgium synthesizes etomidate, a carboxylated imidazole derivative.[29] Belgium
1966 Robert Virtue begins human trials of the inhalational anesthetic enflurane.[30][3]
1970 Field development Mexican anesthesiologist J. Antonio Aldrete publishes his "Postanesthetic Recovery Score."[3]
1972 Drug Isoflurane is introduced as an inhalational anesthetic.[3]
1973 Japanese physiologist and bioengineer Takuo Aoyagi introduces the pulse oximeter.[31][4]
1983 Field development The laryngeal mask airway is introduced.[4]
1985 Organization The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) is established by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.[32][33][34] United States
1987 Drug Desflurane is introduced for clinical use.[3]
1994 Drug Abbot introduces sevoflurane as an inhalational anesthetic.[35][36] [3]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "The History of Anaesthesia". rcoa.ac.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "The History of Professionalism in Anesthesiology". journalofethics.ama-assn.org. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 "History of Anesthesia". woodlibrarymuseum.org. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 "History of anaesthesia". anaesthesiasociety.org.nz. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  5. "'De Motu Cordis', by William Harvey, Frankfurt, Germany, 1628". sciencemuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Sebastian, Anton. A Dictionary of the History of Medicine. 
  7. Gravitz, Melvin A. "Early Uses of Hypnosis as Surgical Anesthesia". American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. 
  8. Wawersik, J. "[History of chloroform anesthesia].". 
  9. Frost, Elizabeth A.M. Comprehensive Guide to Education in Anesthesia. 
  10. Barceloux, Donald G. Medical Toxicology of Drug Abuse: Synthesized Chemicals and Psychoactive Plants. 
  11. Schoffeniels, E.; Margineanu, D. G. Molecular Basis and Thermodynamics of Bioelectrogenesis. 
  12. Donnerer, Josef. The Chemical Languages of the Nervous System: History of Scientists and Substances. 
  13. Essential Clinical Anesthesia (Charles Vacanti, Scott Segal, Pankaj Sikka, Richard Urman ed.). 
  14. B, Jessney. "Joseph Lister (1827-1912): a pioneer of antiseptic surgery remembered a century after his death.". 
  15. "JUNE 17, 1867: LISTER CUTS CLEAN, SAVES LIVES". wired.com. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  16. Dormandy, Thomas. The Worst of Evils: The Fight Against Pain. 
  17. Perioperative Considerations and Positioning for Neurosurgical Procedures: A Clinical Guide (y Adam Arthur, Kevin Foley, C. Wayne Hamm ed.). 
  18. Bliss, Michael. Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery. 
  19. Flagg, Paluel Joseph. The Art of Anaesthesia. 
  20. Hameroff, S.R. Ultimate Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and NanoTechnology. 
  21. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference ed.). 
  22. Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals (Dennis F. Kohn, Sally K. Wixson, William J. White, G. John Benson ed.). 
  23. Webster, Nigel R.; Galley, Helen F. Landmark Papers in Anaesthesia. 
  24. Agasti, TK. Textbook of Anesthesia for Postgraduates. 
  25. "Thiopentone anaphylaxis". onlinelibrary.wiley.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 Barceloux, Donald G. Medical Toxicology of Drug Abuse: Synthesized Chemicals and Psychoactive Plants. 
  27. Agasti, TK. Textbook of Anesthesia for Postgraduates. 
  28. Wylie Churchill-Davidson's A Practice of Anesthesia 7th Edition (Thomas EJ Healy, Paul R Knight ed.). 
  29. Majewski, Harry. Pharmacology - Volume II. 
  30. "History of Anesthesia - Enflurane". dailyrounds.org. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  31. "Pulse oximetry: Its invention, contribution to medicine, and future tasks". researchgate.net. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  32. Eichhorn, JH. "The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation at 25: a pioneering success in safety, 25th anniversary provokes reflection, anticipation.". PMID 22253277. doi:10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182427536. 
  33. "FOUNDATION HISTORY". apsf.org. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  34. Stoelting, Robert K. "Anesthesia Patient Safety—Past, Present, and Future". 
  35. Slatter, John. 100 Best Stocks You Can Buy: 1999 Edition. 
  36. Pederson, Jay P. International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 93.