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Chapter 6 - Intravenous Anesthetics and Adjunctive Agents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2023

Alan David Kaye
Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Richard D. Urman
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
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Intravenous (IV) anesthetics were first discovered for their clinical utility in 1656 by Sir Christopher Wren, an architect, physicist, and astronomer at the University of Oxford while using a goosequill to inject opium into a dog to produce sleep [1]. In 1909, Ludwig Burkhardt became the first surgeon to deliberately use IV ether in a 5% solution to sedate patients for head and neck surgery, finding that a higher concentration caused thrombophlebitis and hemolysis, whereas a lower concentration proved too weak a sedative. The first barbiturate hexobarbital was used in 1932, soon being used for over 10 million cases by 1944. In 1989, the first propofol lipid emulsion formulation was launched in the United States, marking the beginning of the modern age of IV sedation pharmacology [2].

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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