Anesthesiology: Responsibility Beyond Surgery

In the 12 million operations performed in the U.S. each year, from charity patient to President, one feature is uniform and unchanging. The last in dividual the patient sees and hears be fore he "goes under" is the person who gives the anesthetic.

Today that person is often a physician. Nearly gone is the nurse-technician who dates back to the early days of ether and chloroform and whose only function was to render the patient in sensible to pain. Today's anesthesiologist is responsible for the whole man—his breathing and his circulation. In the past dozen...

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