Future Development of Volatile Anesthetics

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Abstract

Inhalation anesthetics have been known for a very long time. Diethyl ether, originally called sweet vitriol, was discovered by Valerius Cordus in 1540 [1]. Its anesthetic properties were observed by Paracelsus at about the same time. He reported that “It is taken even by chickens and they fall asleep from it for a while but awaken later without harm” [1]. About 40 years later, in 1581, Giambattista Delia Porta [1] used ether on humans, but it was not employed for any type of surgical anesthesia.