Local & Spinal Anesthesia
Freezing a section of the body from pain came with the advent of local and spinal anesthesia. In Peru the leaves of the coca plant were traditionally used as a stimulant and cocaine was isolated from its leaves in 1960. Cocaine was found to have some local topical anesthetic effect. The discovery of lignocaine in the year 1884 launched this form of anesthesia.
Injecting this agent into the spinal canal in the lower lumbar section of the spinal cord region resulted in this section getting paralysed and pain free. This lead to the discovery in 1898 of spinal anaesthesia. It routine use became established only when August Bier subjected himself to a clinical experiment in which he observed the anesthetic effect, after but not introduced into clinical practice until 1899, when August Bier decided to inject the drug himself and observe its anesthetic effect.
During this time doctors realized the importance of monitoring the pulse and Blood Pressure during anaesthesia.
Epidural anaesthesia - Is a variant of spinal anesthesia where the local anesthetic is instilled in the epidural space of the spinal cord. Though first discovered in 1901, the epidural anesthesia first success came from Spain in 1921.
It became popular for painless childbirth and liberating women from labor pains. However 80 years later this routine practice is now being questioned and not considered safe either for the baby or the mother.