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World Anaesthesia Day 2022: Why is it celebrated? Importance, significance and more

World Anaesthesia Day: On October 16, 1846, doctors for the first time at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States used diethyl ether anaesthesia for the first time on a patient. Since then, this day has been celebrated to bring awareness about Anaesthesia.

World Anaesthesia Day 2022: Why is it celebrated? Importance, significance and more sur
First Published Oct 16, 2022, 10:53 AM IST

World Anaesthesia Day is celebrated on October 16 annually to recognise the work done by anaesthesia providers worldwide, facilitating more successful surgeries among medical professionals. The date is often referred to as the "birthday" of the modern practice of anaesthesia, and it was on this day in the year 1846 when doctors in the United States successfully performed ether on a patient for the first time, in the process changing how the surgery was going to be performed for about hundreds of years. There is a need to mark an annual day for the anaesthesia practice, and the simple reason in raising awareness around the world that people still do not have proper access to the facility and also for the procedures there continue the primitive, often with more pain associated with them than need be. World Anaesthesia Day was commemorated when the doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States showed the use of diethyl ether anaesthesia for the very first time on a patient. Doing so changed surgery forever, proving patients could undergo surgery without the torture of previously associated pain.

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John Collins Warren, the first dean of Harvard Medical School, then painlessly removed part of a tumour from Abbott's neck. Later, when the patient regained his consciousness, he reportedly said that he only felt as if his "neck's been scratched", which was instantly recognised as a successful procedure because of many unsuccessful demonstrations with nitrous oxide anaesthesia in particular which had taken place in the same operation theatre a year before this. The Massachusetts General Hospital is now considered the home of the Harvard School of Medicine, which ranks the event as one of the most significant ones in the history of medicine. The surgical operating theatre in which the ether was first administered is now called the 'Ether Dome.

Significance of World Anaesthesia Day: According to the WFSA (World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists), around 170 years have passed since that first anaesthetic procedure was performed. Despite the countless breakthroughs that have succeeded it, about five billion people continue to lack access to safe anaesthesia practices. The ongoing neglect, global awareness days like World Anaesthesia Day can be a powerful advocacy tool to mobilise political will, educate the general public, and enforce achievements of the international anaesthesia community. World Anaesthesia Day, the WFSA focuses on aspects of anaesthesia care, which helps us explain the various, diverse, and critical roles that anaesthesiologists play in patient well-being.

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