Friday, March 6, 2015

First Anesthesia Video

This is really cool. This is the very first video of anesthesia being used during surgery. The operation took place in Buenos Aires in 1899. The operation involved resection of a lung cyst. It was performed by Dr. Alejandro Posadas. Because of the filming technique, the image is inverted. The procedure actually is on the right side of the patient.

The anesthetist can barely be seen at the top of the patient. He is holding a glass bottle with what was probably chloroform in his right hand and dripping it onto a cone on top of the patient's face held with the left hand. The anesthetist was the medical student Rodolfo Roccatagliata.

You can see how far medicine has progressed over the last century. Notice the surgeons operated with their bare hands. They are also wearing their white lab coats while operating. The patient's airway is totally unprotected. There was no double lumen endotracheal tube for a thoracic operation. Heck there wasn't even a single lumen ET tube. There was also no patient monitoring of any kind other than the anesthetist's own eyeballs. There were no blood pressure cuffs, ECG's, pulse oximetry. Nothing.

It goes to show how daring the doctors and patients were back then. But that's what pioneers had to do to advance science and make what medicine is today.

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