Timeline of AANA History, Pre-AANA

1844
Horace Wells, a Connecticut dentist, began extracting teeth with nitrous oxide.  He tried to prove his success with this anesthesia to doctors in Boston in 1845 with dismal results—possibly due to too little gas—and he was discredited.
 
1846
The first demonstration of the anesthetizing property of ether in America, by William T.G. Morton, led to the development of modern surgery.
 
1847
James Simpson introduced chloroform into clinical practice for surgery.
 
1853
John Snow gave chloroform analgesia to Queen Victoria in childbirth.
 
1861-1865
Catherine Lawrence and other nurses provided anesthesia for soldiers wounded during the Civil War.
 
1867
British surgeon Joseph Lister published his findings about carbolic acid as an antiseptic for wound treatment. This revolutionized surgery, enabling doctors to stop post-surgical wound infection. Up to this point, surgery had often meant death due to infection.
 
1877
Sister Mary Bernard, a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, Pa., became the first known nurse to specialize in anesthesia.
 
1880
The administration of open drop ether and chloroform was taught to Sister Aldoza Eltrich at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill.
 
1889
Edith and Dinah Graham began to administer anesthesia at St. Mary's Hospital (later the Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minn.
 
1893
Alice Magaw began working as a nurse anesthetist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., for Dr. Charles Mayo, who would later bestow upon Magaw the title "Mother of Anesthesia" for her mastery of open drop ether.
 
1898
August Bier induced the first successful clinical spinal anesthesia.
 
1899 
Alice Magaw published “Observations in Anesthesia,” the first paper by a nurse anesthetist, in the Northwestern Lancet.
 
1900
Magaw published "Observations on 1092 Cases of Anesthesia from January 1, 1889 to January 1, 1900" in the St. Paul Medical Journal.
 
1901
The U.S. Army Nurse Corps was established.
 
1903
Florence Henderson became Dr. Charles Mayo's anesthetist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.
 
1906
Alice Magaw published her last article,"A Review of Over 14,000 Surgical Anesthetics," in Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics.
 
1908
Surgeon George W. Crile asked Agatha Hodgins to become his anesthetist at Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
 
1909
Florence Henderson published her first article, “The Nurse as an Anaesthetist,” in the American Journal of Nursing.
 
The first hospital-based nurse anesthesia training program was opened at St Vincent's Hospital in Portland, Ore., by nurse anesthetist Agnes McGee.
 
1914-1917
Agatha Hodgins and other nurse anesthetists served in volunteer American medical units that provided anesthesia for casualties during World War I.
 
Read Mary J. Roche Stevenson's Front Line Anesthesia, which describes her time as chief anesthetist for the Lakeside Unit (Base Hospital No. 4) in France.
 
1915
Agatha Hodgins formally established the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio. She had been teaching anesthesia to nurses and doctors there since 1911.
 
1916
The Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia closed after a conflict with the Ohio State Medical Board over the legality of nurses administering anesthesia. It reopened in 1917.
 
1917
In Frank v South, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that nurse anesthetist Margaret Hatfield was not engaged in the practice of medicine when she administered anesthesia for surgeon Louis Frank’s cases.
 
1922
Alice M. Hunt received an appointment as instructor of anesthesia with university rank at Yale Medical School, where she taught until 1948. Her book Anesthesia: Principles and Practice: a Presentation for the Nursing Profession was published in 1949.
 
 
 
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