As free as the air

Dr Horace Wells was the first dentist to use laughing gas as anaesthesia in 1844. He tested it by letting his associate John Riggs extract one of his teeth whilst he was gased, and as expected felt no pain. However he never got his discovery patented because he believed pain relief should be “as free as the air.” Unfortunately, when he publicly demonstrated the gas to medical students it was incorrectly administered, and the patient cried out in pain, leading to his discredit in the medical community.  He then went on to lead a rather tragic life, eventually resulting in his suicide, which of course he aided with gas.

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This entry was published on April 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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