The course of action:
At the start of the 19th century, so-called “ether and laughing gas parties” were very popular. Guests would inhale some ether fumes or laughing gas so that they could reach a cheerful high. A doctor in training named Long was present at one of these parties. It was at this party that Long bumped his leg against a table. To his astonishment, he felt no pain.
Long was the first person who used anaesthesia for surgical purposes.
At first he tested ether in minor operations only. In 1842, he performed the painless amputation of a patient’s toe.
Many ideas for new discoveries originate at times when people are having new experiences. Strikingly often, these experiences have little or no relation to the discovery.
Muriel de Bont
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