Journal of Anesthesia and Surgery
Four Forgotten Giants of Anesthesia History
Department of Anesthesia, Fellow, American Institute of Stress
Lewis S. Coleman, MD, DABA, Department of Anesthesia, Fellow, American Institute of Stress, Tel: 5598023375/ (661) 900-2390; E-mail: email@example.com
Coleman, L.S. Four Forgotten Giants of Anesthesia History. (2016) J Anesth Surg 3(1): 68-84.
© 2016 Coleman, L.S. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
KeywordsAnesthesia theory; Carbon dioxide toxicity; Carbon dioxide narcosis; Opioid; Hyperventilation; Hypoventilation; Asphyxiation; Hypercarbia; Hypocarbia; Permissive hypercarbia; Acidosis; Alkalosis; Hypoxia; Capnography; Capnograph
The anesthesiology profession may one day serve as a cautionary tale of how power, politics and privilege can perturb science and progress. Previous anesthesia practitioners possessed a superior understanding of physiology and pharmacology, but overenthusiastic CO2 supplementation with inadequate monitors and machines caused asphyxiation disasters that were improperly attributed to CO2 toxicity. Dr. Ralph Waters founded the anesthesiology profession on the basis of a practical new anesthetic technique that introduced elective intubation and hyperventilation to eliminate CO2 toxicity, but mechanical hyperventilation dangerously depletes CO2 tissue reserves and exaggerates morbidity and mortality. The benefits of CO2 supplementations were forgotten, and consequent CO2 confusion has derailed research, discouraged opioid treatment, damaged patient safety, and disrupted professional progress. Anesthesiologists can no longer claim to provide superior service, and hospital administrators are replacing them with nurses. Professional membership is in decline, and professional survival is in question. Modern machines have eliminated asphyxiation, and modern monitoring enables safe and beneficial hypercarbia that complements opioid treatment and minimizes surgical morbidity and mortality. CO2 reform promises revolutionary advance but faces formidable opposition.