Br J Theatre Nurs. 1997 Mar;6(12):5, 8-10.
ABSTRACTHow many readers of this journal have tried to imagine what surgery was like before the sophisticated technical developments described in its pages? Not just before such important advances as blood transfusion, anaesthesia and asepsis, but long before the evolution of teaching hospitals, with their steeply-raked operating theatres, crowded with students and other curious onlookers. Today's medical experts tend to dismiss early practitioners of surgery as "primitive" and "unscientific" because their ideas about human physiology (which appeared perfectly rational at the time) now seem tinged with superstition. Surgery in medieval England was certainly very different from anything we are likely to encounter in the sanitized environment of the modern hospital, yet it was well organised, carefully regulated and made great demands upon the skill and dedication of the men and women who plied a difficult trade, in which the rewards could be considerable but the risks even greater.People
The spongia somnifera
'My beloved chloroform'
'The secularisation of pain'
Obstetric anaesthesia/John Snow
Anaesthesia and the spinal chord
History of anaesthesia apparatus
Consciousness, anaesthesia and anaesthetics
and further reading
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World