The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

The Modernisers


Later on, witnessed the introduction of Thiopentone Sodium after clinical trials by Lundy in 1934.
Ernest H. Volwiler (1893-1992)(left) and Donalee L. Tabern (1900-1974)(right) working for Abbott Laboratories discovered the general anaesthetic Pentothal, one of the most important agents in modern medicine. Volwiler and Tabern discovered Pentothal in 1934 when they were seeking a substance which could be injected directly into the blood stream to produce unconsciousness.

It was first used in human beings on March 8, 1934, by Dr. Ralph M. Waters 

(It was rumoured to have been overused at Pearl Harbour and responsible for many deaths. This is now known to be an exaggeration)

It is a credit to their ingenuity that the substance is still in common use today.
Cyclopropane was discovered in 1881 by August Freund. Cyclopropane had no commercial application until Henderson and Lucas discovered its anaesthetic properties in 1929; industrial production had begun by 1936.
Cyclopropane and other drugs gave more control to the anaesthetist.  


In 1942 Curare or Tubocurarine was used by the Canadian Anaesthetist, Harold Griffiths. This particular substance was first mentioned by Peter Angherius (1516) It was 80 years later that Sir Walter Raleigh made mention of this poison.
Curare as it was called and properly named Tubocurarine; was sent from South America initially packed in tubes to keep it fresh, (Hence the name Tubo) it came from the vine and leaves of the plant Strychnos Chondodendron and Chondodendron tomentosum.

In the 1940s, IPPV was being used more frequently because of the introduction of this drug Curare.
Today we have several different types of muscle relaxant that we can use.

In 1812, a British adventurer Charles Waterton travelled to South America. Waterton wrote that one of the main aims of this journey in 1812 was
“to collect a quantity of the strongest wourali poison”.

This was made by the South American Indians from ingredients taken from the forest and used by them to tip their arrows for both the blowpipe and the bow. 216

It was used to capture monkeys and other wildlife and also as a self-defence weapon.




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