The surprising (and Long) story of the first use of ether in surgery
In the small town of Jefferson, Georgia, about 20 miles from the University of Georgia in Athens, a 26-year-old physician named Crawford Williamson Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man named James Venable while Venable was anesthetized with ether. The date was March 30, 1842.
More than four years later, in Boston, Massachusetts, on Oct. 16, 1846, Thomas Morton, a dentist using ether, served as anesthesiologist while Dr. John Warren, a surgeon at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, performed surgery on a patient’s neck.
A physician observer rushed the news to local newspapers and medical journals, and thus history was written – inaccurately.