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By R. Miller

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Extra resources for Anesthesia [2 vols]

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Three figures stand out in this regard, Waters among them. H. McMechan, born in Cincinnati and son of a physician, excelled in college in oratory and dramatics and became a newspaper reporter on graduation, before matriculating at the Cincinnati Medical School. There, as would be the custom for many a decade, he was required to administer anesthetics, for his father as well, so that he became a devotee of the method. Between 1903 and 1910, he combined anesthesia with general practice, but progressively crippling arthritis forced abandonment of practice and his subsequent preoccupation with the organization of anesthesia and medical editing.

Born in 1883 in Bloomfield, Ohio, he was graduated from Western Reserve University Medical School, served as an intern in Cleveland, and then practiced privately in Sioux City, Iowa, with obstetrics as a chief interest. He began to give anesthesia for operations performed by the other practitioners, although some of them employed nurses for that purpose. Self-trained and with only a few specialized writings at his disposal-- Proceedings of the Royal Society, McMechan' s Quarterly, and Gwathmey and Baskerville's American Text Book of Anesthesia-- Waters wrote an article, "Why The Professional Anesthetist" in 1919.

Later, Sigmund Freud of Vienna began to study the properties of the drug when given samples for trial by the Merck Company. " Believing coca to be a worthy substitute for morphine, Freud first attempted to eliminate the morphine addiction of a close friend, Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow, who had long suffered from a painful posttraumatic thenar neuroma. von Fleischl-Marxow developed a new addiction as a consequence, as would many a cocaine user later on, but Freud himself never seemed to go down that path.

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