The development of anesthesia in german-speaking
regions in the 19th century

Schwarz W.
Institut fur Anasthesiologie,
Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg.
Ther Umsch. 1991 Jun;48(6):360-4.


Following the first public demonstration of ether anaesthesia by W.T.G. Morton on October 16, 1846, the pioneers to perform ether anaesthesia in German speaking countries were H. A. Demme, surgeon at the University Hospital Bern, Switzerland, on January 23, 1847, the German surgeon J. F. Heyfelder at Erlangen on January 24, and the Austrian surgeon F. Schuh in Vienna on January 27, 1847. The first books in German language referring to clinical experience with and experimental research on sulphuric ether were published in March/April 1847. After the introduction of chloroform the use of ether anaesthesia rapidly decreased. Chloroform administration was smoother and much more easier not requiring any special apparatus. Chloroform remained the preferred anaesthetic till the end of the century although there happened significantly more deaths due to this agent than to ether. Since 1863 nitrous oxide again was propagated for pain relief in dental practice. German investigators provided pioneering contributions to the development of local and regional anaesthesia. C. Koller, Vienna, was the first to operate on a patient in local anaesthesia with cocaine. The next steps were the introduction of infiltration anaesthesia by C. L. Schleich in 1892/1894 and of spinal anaesthesia by A. Bier in 1899. The ultimate success of local and regional anaesthesia was made possible by using adrenaline with the local anaesthetic (1901) and by the introduction of novocaine in 1905.
Otto Kappeler
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
'My beloved chloroform'
'The secularisation of pain'
Acetylcholine/nicotinic receptors
Obstetric anaesthesia/John Snow
First use of anaesthetics in different countries

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