Last week, the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre received a bound volume of Punch magazines from 1847, the year after the first use of ether. It contains several references to the new drug and several suggestions for use, as well as this song about chloroform…
The Heritage Centre may be closed for a few more days, but you can now see our new exhibition at BMA House in Tavistock Square!
The display looks at Charles King, the founder of the Anaesthesia Museum, and includes some of his original equipment, inventions and photos. Though not a doctor, Charles King had a huge impact on anaesthesia in the 20th century and worked with many well-known figures to develop life-saving equipment.
Earlier this month a view was held for the our new exhibition ‘Out of Our Comfort Zone’ which looks at the work of anaesthetists during wars and disasters.
The viewing was attended by representatives from the military, medical charities, universities and hospitals, and guided tours were led by our volunteers.
Some of the interesting artefacts exhibited date back to the nineteenth century and include the table used for the first operation under ether, a chloroform sales pot and a Triservice Apparatus used by the armed forces, in military or major disasters. This robust, portable apparatus was designed by Brigadier Ivan Houghton in 1981, who also attended the event.
The keynote speaker at the event was Dr Andrew Hartle, the AAGBI Council’s President Elect, who treated casualties of the Edgware Road tube bombings in July 2007, and spoke about his experiences.
Dr. Hartle said, “In this era of rapid technological development within the medical field, few people realise that before 1950, seriously injured people received little or no life-supporting treatment before they arrived at the hospital. Probably something even lesser known, is the contribution of anaesthetists in times of crises. For instance, at the Moorgate tube disaster in 1975, 16 out of the 18 doctors on site were anaesthetists. This exhibition is therefore an important compilation of facts and equipment which illustrate the history of pain relief in crisis situations. If you have ever been directly or indirectly affected by a disaster, I would recommend a visit to this exhibition.”
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Scroll down for further images of the event and exhibition.
Our new temporary exhibition explores the work of doctors, and especially anaesthetists, treating injuries caused by wars and terrorist attacks.
Anaesthetists are more likely to have the range of skills required to treat people with injuries resulting from accident, disaster or terrorist attack than any other group of doctors and are called on to treat patients at the scene. At the Moorgate tube disaster in 1975, sixteen of the eighteen doctors on site were anaesthetists.
As well as showing the development of pain relief during a crisis since its first use in 1847, the exhibition also features a special display on the 7/7 London bombings with an interview from an anaesthetist who treated casualties from Edgware Road.
This exhibition celebrates the development of pain relief, and pays tribute to those who have been affected by wars and disasters.