Simpson’s 1st Obstetric Anesthetic
WLM ID: aijm | Catalog Record
On January 19, 1847, Scottish obstetrician, Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870) made his first use of ether anesthesia to ease labor pain. This is a plaster cast of the head of the infant delivered that day. Due to the mother’s deformed lower spine and pelvis, the birth canal was very narrow. Although the delivery was particularly difficult and undoubtedly would otherwise have caused severe agony, the mother had no recollection of pain after inhaling the ether. Later in 1847, being dissatisfied with ether, Simpson pioneered the use of chloroform as an anesthetic.