The Black History of Anesthesiology
William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1968) is often considered the first to discover general anesthesia and to pioneer its applications in surgery.
However, four and a half years before Morton’s breakthrough, a young man from the Southern states, Crawford Williamson Long (1815-1878), became the first physician to operate with no pain, performing minor surgical and obstetric procedures under anesthesia using diethyl (sulfuric) ether.
Long's legacy is a testament to the silent, but significant role that Black Americans occupied in the history of medicine.
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