In 1847 a young Scottish physician named James Simpson was experimenting with chloroform vapours on himself and some of his friends. They all fell asleep!
So he decided to try it out on mothers about to give birth and he found that it eased their labour pains. This was the beginning of anaethesia in Britain.
Another gas that was discovered to help during surgery was Ether gas.
In 1846, an American dentist named William Thomas Green Morton gave one of his patients’ Ether gas to put him to sleep whilst he worked on a painful treatment for him.
After this had been successful he demonstrated the effect of Ether gas at Boston hospital, when the surgeon Professor Warren removed a lump from a patient’s neck – without the patient screaming in pain!