World Anaesthesiology Day

17 Oct 2016

World Anaesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anaesthesia back on 16 October 1846.

Dr. William Thomas Green Morton, a dentist, first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anaesthetic in 1846. The use of ether became one of the key factors in the medical and scientific pursuit now referred to as anaesthesiology and allowed the development of modern surgery.

From this day a scientific journey started off in making surgery safer and painless.

170 years later, the scientific journey has led us to many researches and successful developments making safe anaesthesia one of the essentials of surgery.

However today, over 5 billion people in the world still lack access to essential surgery and safe anaesthesia when needed.

The access to safe anaesthesia is a global concern. One of the basic standards for safe anaesthesia is having a pulse oximeter in the surgery room. Today, an estimated 1 in 3 patients in the region lack access to a pulse oximeter in surgery. More than 50.000 operating rooms don’t have a pulse oximeter. 

This year, the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) and its country members collaborated with an international NGO Lifebox on contributing towards closing the global pulse oximetrygap through MAKE IT 0® campaign. ESA had chosen to showcase the work of the NGO at Euroanaesthesia 2016 and help raise funds for much needed pulse oximeters and training for anaesthesia providers in Eastern Europe.

World Anaesthesia Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the role safety anaesthesia plays and that the responsibility to change things for the better belongs to us all.