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Anasthesia - Hospital Care in Canada

“This won't hurt a bit.” We've all heard that one before. Through the ages, people have used substances to dull pain—from alcohol to opium. However, through the 1800s many surgical procedures—even amputations!—were performed without any anesthetic at all. By the late-1800s, doctors had developed techniques using ether or chloroform to keep the patient from feeling the pain of surgery. There was always the danger, though, that the dose intended to produce a gentle, pleasant sleep ended up producing something, well, more permanent. (See Morgue.)

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