Australian Anaesthetic History- Part 1

No LO for this stuff but pretty interesting nonetheless.  If you can’t be bothered to google the answers I will give them to you in a subsequent post.  I am pretty biased but I think Morton’s successful public demonstration of general anaesthesia using ether on 16th October 1846 is the single most important medical discovery of the modern era.  It is astonishing given the lack of social media and communication satellites in the 1840s that within months doctors were trying their hand at giving ether anaesthetics on the other side of the world including Australia.  Indeed the first anaesthetics in Australia were given in June 1847.  The apparatus used was based on a picture in a London newspaper published in January 1847.  It took four months to sail from London to Australia so it was only a matter of weeks from reading about Morton’s discovery that Australians were giving it a crack.  I don’t think many of us would try a novel technique on a patient that we’d only read about in a journal, especially when we needed to fashion our own apparatus!

The statements relate to historically significant events regarding anaesthetic practice in Australia. The definitive resource on Australian anaesthetic history is Gwen Wilson’s “One Grand Chain: The History of Anaesthesia in Australia”. Not a bad read. I got my copy gratis from the nice folk at the College library.

The first anaesthetic for a surgical procedure was given by William Ross Pugh in June, 1847 at Launceston.  TRUE/ FALSE

The first anaesthetic given in Australia was also by William Ross Pugh.  TRUE/ FALSE

The pioneering anaesthetists would have had to make their own ether.  TRUE/ FALSE

The first case of awareness under anaesthesia is also attributed to Pugh.  TRUE/ FALSE

The first reported anaesthetic death in Australia is also attributed to Pugh.  TRUE/ FALSE

 

 

 

 

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