Features  |   June 2013
Anesthesia and Surgery in the Elderly: 15 Years of Progress on Postoperative Central Nervous System Dysfunction
Author Affiliations
  • Christopher J. Jankowski, M.D.
    Committee on Geriatric Anesthesia
  • Deborah J. Culley, M.D.
    Committee on Geriatric Anesthesia
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Geriatric Anesthesia / Features
Features   |   June 2013
Anesthesia and Surgery in the Elderly: 15 Years of Progress on Postoperative Central Nervous System Dysfunction
ASA Monitor 06 2013, Vol.77, 22-24.
ASA Monitor 06 2013, Vol.77, 22-24.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
– Chinese Proverb
Surgery before the advent of anesthetics was harrowing. In 1843, Professor George Wilson underwent an ankle disarticulation. Four years later, he described his experience:
“The horror of great darkness, and the sense of desertion by God and man, bordering close on despair, which swept through my mind and overwhelmed my heart, I can never forget, however gladly I would do so … I still recall with unwelcome vividness the spreading out of the instruments: the twisting of the tourniquet: the first incision: the fingering of the sawed bone: the sponge pressed on the flap: the tying of the blood-vessels: the stitching of the skin: the bloody dismembered limb lying on the floor.”1 
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