History and development of local anaesthesia

Tony Wildsmith

in Principles and Practice of Regional Anaesthesia

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586691
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191755507 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks in Anaesthesia

History and development of local anaesthesia

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  • Anaesthetics
  • History of Medicine


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Ever since the first recognition of the significance of the local effects of cocaine the popularity of local and regional methods of anaesthesia has varied considerably. New drugs, techniques, and equipment have all stimulated enthusiasm and usage, but the risk of complications, sometimes related to other aspects of patient care such as thromboprophylaxis, balance the equation. This is sometimes over-simplified and presented as a ‘regional versus general’ anaesthesia debate, but the real issues are to identify how a regional technique may contribute to a patient’s care and then perform the block in such a way so as to both maximize efficacy and minimize complications. This is the underlying theme for all which follows.

Chapter.  3752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anaesthetics ; History of Medicine

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