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Anesthesiology – What a common man must Know
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Dr. S. Ahanatha Pillai (M.D, D.A)
Emeritus Professor, The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR medical University.
Professor, HOD, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry.
Former Professor, Madurai Medical College and Govt. Rajaji Hospital, Madurai.

Anaesthesiology by definition is the science and art of relieving the pain of a proposed Surgery

This is a very simple way of telling about the speciality of medicine for everyone to understand. It is not al about that; in fact, the most important part apart from pain relief is protecting the patient from the possible dangers of pain and the surgery itself.

If we ask 100 people the question, what is that which scares you most?, we get various answers related to materialistic aspects of life, such as loosing a job, facing an examination and so on. However, if we put a question, if you have severe intolerable pain in your leg and you have a serious problem in your office, which would you give importance?, the sensible answer will be Relief of pain in the leg will be my first concern.

If we carefully analyse a human being, (irrespective of his religion, caste, creed or social inequalities, or differences in economic status, or variations in their educational status) everyone has deep-seated fear about two things in the mind; one is about pain and the other is about death. Very correctly, anaesthesia is to protect the patient from these two fears and prevent the fears becoming a reality during surgery.

It is interesting to read from the Holy Bible God created man from earth in his own resemblance blew the breath of life into his nose, gave life to him and called him Adam. However, when He decided to create a companion to Adam, he did it differently; He (God) made him (Adam) to go into deep sleep, removed one of his ribs, covered it with flesh and blood, gave life and named it as Eve.

When we carefully look at it, the first man of this world Adam was first anaesthetised and was subjected for a rib removal under anaesthesia. As the word ANAESTHESIA was not coined at that time, the term made him to go into deep sleep is used in Holy Bible. As it is clear that during deep sleep any thing that inflicts pain cannot be done. Therefore, According to the Holy Bible,God almighty was the first anaesthetist and the surgeon.

Hence, Anaesthesia and Surgery have started as soon as the man was created. The anaesthetists and surgeons could be very proud on this point.Another important point to be noted is that no healthy human being would normally be in a state of Anaesthesia even for the shortest time. If a state of unconsciousness similar to anaesthesia is seen in anyone, he is certainly not in normal health and he is likely to be in a state of danger.

If only we analyse for what purpose we to take a man into anaesthesia, the greatness of anaesthesiology could be realised. When we just look into the pages of history of medicine, we could see some of the nteresting facts.

On 16th of October 1846, a great man William Thomas Green Morton demonstrated the first anaesthesia using a liquid chemical compound known as Ether in Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Under this first anaesthesia with ether, Dr. John Collins Warren, a surgeon of that time performed an operation for removal of a tumor in the jaw of Mr. Gilbert Abbott. The observers, who were the respected men of medical profession, made comments as the patient did not move during operation, but he is alive and breathing.

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