Vital Times 2021 - 91

HISTORY OF ANESTHESIA
Anesthesia Past and Present
Jay Brodsky, MD, Merlin Larson, MD, and Mark Singleton, MD, FASA,
on behalf of the CSA History Committee
The scenes depicted below will be developed into a short,
animated film that celebrates the extraordinary origins of modern
anesthesiology, which has enabled today's remarkable surgical
procedures. Although the first scenario is gruesome, and the
second potentially distressing, we hope that the use of cartoon
characters will allow our message to be delivered in an acceptable
and even amusing way. We hope that this project, meant for
both the anesthesia community and the general audience, will
powerfully convey the significant role of scientists and physician
anesthesiologists in advancing modern medical care.
Introduction
anesthetic techniques, and effective prevention of
postoperative pain.
Today, even the most complex surgical procedure
can be performed with the patient experiencing
minimal morbidity or discomfort. Safe, painfree
surgery is possible only because of modern
anesthetic management, including improved
analgesic and sedative agents, accurate
intraoperative monitoring of vital signs, protection
of the airway, controlled ventilation, regional
These advances in the practice of anesthesiology
have occurred over a period of less than 200 years,
most having occurred during the last 50. The
following scenarios illustrate the evolution of the
perioperative management of an otherwise healthy
45-year-old woman with a breast tumor undergoing
a simple mastectomy.
Annual Publication 2021 | 91

Vital Times 2021

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