Monday, January 9, 2012

Propane For Surgery

I found this old ad whilst perusing the internet and just had to grab it because it was so unique.  What does Shell Petroleum have to do with surgery you may ask?  Well when they are using Cyclopropane as an anesthetic  it all becomes clear.  Doctors no longer use Cyclopropane and it's little wonder why when you read the precautions list associated with it, it was flammable, very flammable (well it is made from propane) and so it may have been a leap forward for the petroleum industry but it was little safer than the Ether that it replaced.  Also while you are at it look at the surgery scene in the ad.  It looks like a scene from M.A.S.H. as well it should since the ad comes from the early 50's.

What really caught my eye about this ad is I can relate to it.  Both my sister and a good friend of mine have had back surgeries recently, although I would guess well that they used Sodium Pentothal as the anesthetic.  Medial science is changing though and the need for a full in-patient surgical experience is being supplanted by the back surgery laser. This technique is minimally invasive and can provide relief from back pain for many Americans.

And so, while pondering this ad, one is inventively led to pondering how medical science has changed over the years.  My mother was a nurse and she went from sharpening glass syringes while in medical school to working with state of the art computers in the medical field.  Innovation par excellance.

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