Anesthetics Timeline

Anesthetics presentation for Science class.


1540 - 1842

The exact dates are unknown but it was around these times that Anesthetics was forgotten about and not used publicly. Some different types were made privately and maybe also experimented privately but it was in a way the age of no anesthetics.


Ether, an organic compound which is colourless, highly volatile, and flammable was synthesized in 1540 by Valerius Cordus.


Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as Laughing Gas is used in dentistry and surgery as a general anesthetic but was prepared by Joseph Priestly in 1776.


Ether was often used as solvent but was used once as a general anesthetic by Dr. Crawford W. Long in 1842 and actually was published as a general anesthetic in 1846 Dr. William Morton.


Chloroform, a chemical compound part of the group of organic compounds called haloalkanes is a colourless, sweet smelling, dense liquid that is considered a bit hazardous. It was used as a refrigerant but now that is stopping and it was used as an Anesthetic in 1853 by Dr. John Snow.


A Local Anesthetic with cocaine was used in 1855.


Curare was first used in 1942 and started the "Age of Anesthesia."


Lidocaine, is a local anesthetic used to relieve itching, burning and pain from skin inflammations, it can be injected as a dental anesthetic but the main use is for minor surgery. It was synthesized in 1943, by Nils Lofgren and was first marketed in 1949.


Halothane, a inhalational general anesthetic was synthesized by Charles Suckling in 1956.


Enflurane, which is no longer in common use, is an inhalational anesthetic which is vaporized readily, but a liquid at room temperature. It was developed in 1963 by Ross Terrell but first used clinically in 1966.


Isoflurane, another inhalational anesthetic which is vaporizes readily but is liquid at room temperature, is completely non flammable and used frequently for veterinary anesthesia but its use in human medicine is now starting to decline. It was synthesized in 1965 by Ross Terrell, and introduced into practice in 1984.