Disease and pain, unfortunately, always persecuted people. Since ancient times, mankind has dreamed to get rid of the pain. Often the treatment afforded more suffering than the disease itself. For anesthesia operations healers and doctors have long used herbal teas and infusions of poppy and mandrake.
In Russia, reposition hernia as anesthesia used tobacco enemas. Widely used alcohol. These methods have contributed to "stun" the patient, dulling the pain, but they certainly can not completely numb the surgery and were themselves dangerous to health.
Lack of pain relief inhibited the development of surgery. In the age before anesthesia, surgeons operate only on the limbs and the body surface. All surgeons are owned by the same set of rather primitive operations.
The good doctor was different from poor operating speed. NIPirogov produced amputation in 3 minutes, mastectomy - 1, 5 minutes. The surgeon Larry in the night after the battle of Borodino produced 200 amputations (hand he certainly between operations are not washed, then it was not accepted). I hate intense pain for more than 5 minutes can not be so complex and lengthy operation could not produce.
The civilization of ancient Egypt has left the oldest written evidence of attempting to use anesthesia during surgical vmeshatelstvah.V Ebers Papyrus (5th century BC), reported on the use of funds before the operation, reduces the feeling of pain: mandrake, belladonna, opium, alcohol. With minor variations, the same drugs used alone or in various combinations in ancient Greece, Rome, China, India.
In Egypt and Syria knew stunning by squeezing the neck vessels, and is used in operations of circumcision. It was a bold tested method of general anesthesia by exsanguination before deep brain fainting due to anemia. Aurelio Saverino of Naples (1580-1639), empirically, to achieve the recommended local anesthesia rubbing snow in 15 minutes. before surgery. Larrey, chief surgeon of Napoleon's army, (1766-1842) amputee soldiers on the battlefield without pain, at -29 degrees Celsius. In the early 19th century, the Japanese physician Hanaoka used for pain medication, consisting of a mixture of herbs that contain belladonna, hyoscyamine, aconitine. Under such anesthesia have successfully amputated limbs, breast, carry out operations on the face.
It would be logical to assume that the honor of the discovery of anesthesia belongs to a prominent surgeon, or even a whole school of surgery, because that's what surgeons are most needed anesthesia.
However, it is not. The world's first anesthesia is applied before anyone unknown dentist orthopedic Thomas Morton. Dr. Morton lacked in patients as people because of the fear of pain coming to remove damaged teeth and preferred to go without dentures, but would not suffer. T.Morton chosen for their experiments the perfect time for the anesthetic diethyl ether.
He is responsible came to the experiments with ether: conducting experiments on animals, then removed his teeth to his colleagues dentists, constructed a primitive anesthesia machine, and only when he was sure of success, decided to hold a public demonstration of anesthesia.