World Anesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846. This ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of medicine and took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital, home of the Harvard School of Medicine. The discovery made it possible for patients to obtain the benefits of surgical treatment without the pain associated with an operation. The date (16 October) is now globally recognised as World Anesthesia Day in respect of the importance of this event.
The World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists celebrates World Anesthesia Day annually with over 134 Societies representing anesthesiologists from over 150 countries taking part.
This is a photographic image of the painting by Robert C. Hinckley (1853-194.) Ether Day, or The First Operation Under Ether. This epic painting took ll years to complete (1882–1893) and is on display at Harvard’s Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.