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.
The first demonstration of the anesthetizing property of ether in America, by William T.G. Morton, led to the development of modern surgery.
James Simpson introduced chloroform into clinical practice for surgery.
John Snow gave chloroform analgesia to Queen Victoria in childbirth.
Catherine Lawrence and other nurses provided anesthesia for soldiers wounded during the Civil War.
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.
Sister Mary Bernard, a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, Pa., became the first known nurse to specialize in anesthesia.
The administration of open drop ether and chloroform was taught to Sister Aldoza Eltrich at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill.
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.
August Bier induced the first successful clinical spinal anesthesia.
The U.S. Army Nurse Corps was established.
became Dr. Charles Mayo's anesthetist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.
Surgeon George W. Crile asked Agatha Hodgins
to become his anesthetist at Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
The first hospital-based nurse anesthesia training program was opened at St Vincent's Hospital in Portland, Ore., by nurse anesthetist Agnes McGee.
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.
formally established the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio. She had been teaching anesthesia to nurses and doctors there since 1911.
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.
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.