Dr. Crawford W. Long and Anesthesia for Surgery

Dr. Crawford W. Long and Anesthesia for Surgery

Year Erected: 2018

Marker Text: On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long performed what is considered the first surgery using anesthesia at his medical office once located at this site. Using sulfuric ether, Long removed a cyst from the neck of James Venable before three witnesses. Venable reported feeling no pain during the procedure. With the proven ability to block pain, the use of sulfuric ether as an anesthetic increased the number of surgeries performed worldwide. Although modern anesthetics with fewer side effects have replaced sulfuric ether in the United States, Dr. Long’s discovery helped shape modern medicine by allowing for more complex surgical procedures. March 30 is now acknowledged as National Doctors’ Day in recognition of Dr. Long’s first use of anesthesia.

Tips for Finding This Marker: Located by the Crawford Long Museum