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Media Contact: Lance Skelly 30 March 2006
  lance.skelly@emory.edu    
  (404) 686-8538 ((40) 4) -686-8538   Print  | Email ]
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National Doctors' Day & Emory Crawford Long Hospital Have Common Link in History
When America shows its appreciation for doctors nationwide on Thursday, March 30, many--in fact most--will probably never stop to think about anesthesia or its innovator, who happens to be the namesake of Atlanta's Emory Crawford Long Hospital.

The first Doctors' Day observance was held on March 30, 1933, by the Barrow County Alliance, in Winder, Ga. The idea of setting aside a day to honor physicians was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, and the recognition occurred on the anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long (March 30, 1842, when Dr. Long used ether to remove a tumor from a patient's neck.)

The Barrow County Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day "Doctors' Day," which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives, and placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors, including Dr. Long.

The United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors' Day on March 30, 1958. In 1990, legislation was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to establish a National Doctors Day. Following overwhelming approval by the House and Senate, then-President George Bush signed a resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors' Day. The first National Doctors' Day was celebrated in 1991.

Dr. Long graduated in 1839 from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which was the most prominent medical school in America in Dr. Long's time. He trained for two more years in hospitals in New York before coming to Jefferson to set up a practice near his family. In those days, young people often sniffed nitrous oxide to get a temporary "high." The legend that Dr. Long's family and friends passed down was that one day Dr. Long's friends were unable to get nitrous oxide, so they asked Dr. Long for a substitute. Ideas about social use of drugs were different 160 years ago, and Dr. Long agreed to help. He suggested sulfuric ether as a possibility. While the young people were under the influence of the ether, they apparently felt no pain. As a highly trained physician, Dr. Long recognized that he might have found the solution to the search for anesthesia. Anesthesia, a way to get patients both unaware of pain and still enough for surgery, was an essential to the advance of medicine. In fact, it is said that for modern medicine to exist, three discoveries had to be made: anesthesia, antiseptics or the realization of germs and bacteria, and antibiotics.

Dr. Long discovered the key to anesthesia in 1842, antiseptics were discovered in the 1860s, and antibiotics were discovered in the early part of the 20th century. In 1842, life expectancy in America was 49 years. Today, the figure is 79 years in the United States--and may actually double the 1842 figure in the next few years as more people live to 100 and beyond. The rapid growth of modern medicine, built on three pillars, continues to amaze and then be accepted as routine.

Emory Hospitals include Emory University Hospital, a 579-bed hospital located on the Emory University campus in northeast Atlanta, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, a 511-bed, community-based hospital in midtown and Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, a 100-bed hospital located on the Emory campus. Emory Hospitals are components of Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive health care system in Atlanta. Other components of Emory Healthcare include: The Emory Clinic, the Emory Children's Center, the jointly owned Emory-Adventist Hospital, and EHCA, LLC, a limited liability company created in collaboration with HCA Healthcare.

Media Contact: Lance Skelly 30 March 2006
  lskelly@emory.edu    
  (404) 686-8538   Print  | Email ]
Share:

del.icio.us

National Doctors' Day & Emory Crawford Long Hospital Have Common Link in History
When America shows its appreciation for doctors nationwide on Thursday, March 30, many--in fact most--will probably never stop to think about anesthesia or its innovator, who happens to be the namesake of Atlanta's Emory Crawford Long Hospital.

The first Doctors' Day observance was held on March 30, 1933, by the Barrow County Alliance, in Winder, Ga. The idea of setting aside a day to honor physicians was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, and the recognition occurred on the anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long (March 30, 1842, when Dr. Long used ether to remove a tumor from a patient's neck.)

The Barrow County Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day "Doctors' Day," which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives, and placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors, including Dr. Long.

The United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors' Day on March 30, 1958. In 1990, legislation was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to establish a National Doctors Day. Following overwhelming approval by the House and Senate, then-President George Bush signed a resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors' Day. The first National Doctors' Day was celebrated in 1991.

Dr. Long graduated in 1839 from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which was the most prominent medical school in America in Dr. Long's time. He trained for two more years in hospitals in New York before coming to Jefferson to set up a practice near his family. In those days, young people often sniffed nitrous oxide to get a temporary "high." The legend that Dr. Long's family and friends passed down was that one day Dr. Long's friends were unable to get nitrous oxide, so they asked Dr. Long for a substitute. Ideas about social use of drugs were different 160 years ago, and Dr. Long agreed to help. He suggested sulfuric ether as a possibility. While the young people were under the influence of the ether, they apparently felt no pain. As a highly trained physician, Dr. Long recognized that he might have found the solution to the search for anesthesia. Anesthesia, a way to get patients both unaware of pain and still enough for surgery, was an essential to the advance of medicine. In fact, it is said that for modern medicine to exist, three discoveries had to be made: anesthesia, antiseptics or the realization of germs and bacteria, and antibiotics.

Dr. Long discovered the key to anesthesia in 1842, antiseptics were discovered in the 1860s, and antibiotics were discovered in the early part of the 20th century. In 1842, life expectancy in America was 49 years. Today, the figure is 79 years in the United States--and may actually double the 1842 figure in the next few years as more people live to 100 and beyond. The rapid growth of modern medicine, built on three pillars, continues to amaze and then be accepted as routine.

Emory Hospitals include Emory University Hospital, a 579-bed hospital located on the Emory University campus in northeast Atlanta, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, a 511-bed, community-based hospital in midtown and Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, a 100-bed hospital located on the Emory campus. Emory Hospitals are components of Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive health care system in Atlanta. Other components of Emory Healthcare include: The Emory Clinic, the Emory Children's Center, the jointly owned Emory-Adventist Hospital, and EHCA, LLC, a limited liability company created in collaboration with HCA Healthcare.



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