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Kawthar
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PostSubject: ANESTHESIA   Sun May 04, 2008 11:05 am

ANESTHESIA
Ibn Sina originated the idea of the use of oral anesthetics. He recognized opium as the most powerful mukhadir (an intoxicant or drug). Less powerful anesthetics known were mandragora, poppy, hemlock, hyoscyamus, deadly nightshade (belladonna), lettuce seed, and snow or ice cold water. The Arabs invented the soporific sponge which was the precursor of modem anesthesia. It was a sponge soaked with aromatics and narcotics and held to the patient's nostrils.

The use of anesthesia was one of the reasons for the rise of surgery in the Islamic world to the level of an honourable speciality, while in Europe, surgery was belittled and practiced by barbers and quacks. The Council of Tours in 1163 A.D. declared Surgery is to be abandoned by the schools of medicine and by all decent physicians." Burton stated that "anesthetics have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and chloroform became the fashion in civilized West."

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