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  • What Would Surgery Be Like Without Anesthesia?

    Dr. Crawford W. Long used ether to conduct the first painless operation on March 30, 1842. Susan Deaver, director of the Crawford W. Long Museum, Bill Custer, of Georgia State University, and Dan Rahn, an M.D. at Georgia Medical College, describe anesthesia and the scientific and technological advances in medicine.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Explain the factors that contributed to the growth of the railroads?

    2. Why did Georgia merchants decide that they needed a railroad from Augusta to Athens?

    3. What effect did South Carolina's railroad from Charleston to Hamburg have on Georgia?

    Expansion

    1. After viewing the reenactment of Dr. Long’s surgery on James Venable, write a newspaper story describing the event. Be sure to include a headline.

    Vocabulary

    anesthesia/anesthetic: anesthetics are materials used to numb all or part of a patient's body, making the patient unaware of the sensation of pain (Anesthesia is the practice of the use of anesthetics.)
    ether: a chemical sometimes used for anesthesia
    Hippocrates: Ancient Greek doctor (Doctors today take a "Hippocratic oath," which is traditionally (although inaccurately) assigned to him.)
    mesmerism: a sort of hypnosis used to put patients into a trance-like state
    patent: legal recognition of one's priority in developing an invention or technique granting control of the use of that invention or technique, and the monetary rewards therein, to the person holding the patent
    placebo effect: a situation wherein a patient imagines benefits from a treatment that actually has no benefits at all

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Explain the factors that contributed to the growth of the railroads?
    Georgians were moving inland. People wanted reliable transportation for themselves and their goods. Roads were muddy, dusty, and treacherous to travel. River travel was all right going downstream; however travel was difficult upstream.

    2. Why did Georgia merchants decide that they needed a railroad from Augusta to Athens?
    When they tried to move heavy cargo on the roads using horses and wagons, the weather and other factors made movement difficult. They decided they needed a railroad to be more efficient and to be able to compete with the states around them that already had the railroad.

    3. What effect did South Carolina's railroad from Charleston to Hamburg have on Georgia?With Hamburg being just across the Savannah River from Augusta, much of Georgia's cotton was transported to Charleston for export rather than to Savannah. As Savannah lost business, Georgia legislators began considering building railroads in Georgia as a result.  

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