The early history of ether anaesthesia in the Cape Colony, South Africa

Wessels, Quenton Bester and Correia, JC and Taylor, Adam Michael (2017) The early history of ether anaesthesia in the Cape Colony, South Africa. Vesalius, 23 (2). pp. 52-62. ISSN 1373-4857

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News of the potential of ether as an anaesthetic arrived in the Cape Colony, South Africa, six months after Morton’s convincing demonstration in Boston. Anaesthesia in the Cape Colony shares a dental heritage after Alfred Raymond, a dental surgeon, became the first person to successfully administer ether anaesthesia in April 1847 in South Africa. Raymond became the first individual to do so in the Southern Hemisphere. A young band of physicians and surgeons eagerly proceeded with a series of experiments, yielding mixed results in the Colony. Unaware of Liston’s success in London, William Guybon Atherstone became the first surgeon in the Southern Hemisphere to perform an amputation using ether as anaesthetic in June 1847. This manuscript aims to contribute towards the lacking history of the first pioneers whom experimented with ether as an anaesthetic at the southern tip of Africa.

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31 Jan 2018 08:56
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 17:31