The discovery of surgical anesthesia and its arrival in Europe. Apropos of the 150th anniversary of the clinical introduction of ether
Franco A, Cortes J, Alvarez J.
Servicio de Anestesiologia,
Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago,
Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna.
Anesth Analg. 1979 Jan-Feb;58(1):5-12.


The clinical introduction of anesthesia took place on the 16th of October 1846 at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) and William T.G. Morton, a dentist in the city, was its discoverer. The news was made public at the beginning of November and soon crossed the Atlantic, reaching Paris and London, where there were acclaimed medical centers. The event was the object of studies worldwide and still today receives the attention of researchers. We have detected numerous inaccuracies in most accounts of how anesthesia was introduced in Europe, motivating us to undertake the present study to establish a new history of the first uses of ether in European countries. We have consulted new bibliographic sources and obtained results that are considerably different from those published by most authors in recent years. Our analysis and discussion of the findings allow us to establish a new chronological account of anesthesia with ether in Europe, in which we emphasize the first studies of etherizations performed in Belgium, Spain and Italy hitherto ignored by other authors.
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