Today in History: March 30



In 1842

To put in deep sleep without snuffing the breather

A surgeon named Long*

Used the gas known as ether.**

* In the picture above, Dr. Crawford Long is removing a cyst from the neck of a man who has inhaled the gas ether.  Ether,  pleasant-smelling but flammable, was inhaled for fun at the time.  Long discovered that whenever someone suffered an injury while under the effects of the gas, no pain was experienced.  This aha! insight led to the successful test of ether as an anesthetic during surgery.

**Codeine, a potent pain-relieving drug, is the methyl ether of morphine.   []


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