The first anesthetics administered by the three individuals who sought credit for the discovery of anesthesia took place outside the O.R. (non-operating room anesthesia, or NORA). Crawford Williamson Long (1815-1878) administered ether on March 30, 1842, to James M. Venable for a surgical procedure carried out in his office. Horace Wells (1815-1848) received analgesia with nitrous oxide for his own dental extraction in a dental office on December 11, 1844. William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1868), most famous for the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital, administered ether to Ebenezer Hopkins Frost for a dental extraction at his home two weeks earlier on September 30, 1846. Thereafter, general anesthesia and analgesia continued to be used in office, home and hospital settings throughout the nation.

The first few decades after the introduction of...

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