Corning and cocaine: the advent of spinal anaesthesia

Landmark Case Report
Case Report
10.1102/1470-5206.2009.L001
9
L1-L4
Corning and cocaine: the advent of spinal anaesthesia

The inception of spinal anaesthesia can be traced to James Leonard Corning, a New York neurologist who inadvertently administered cocaine spinal anaesthesia in 1885. In 1898 August Karl Gustav Bier, a German surgeon, pioneered the successful use of operative spinal anaesthesia in lower limb surgery. Early spinal anaesthesia was fraught with complications but through advances in aseptic technique, anaesthetic agents and equipment, the seminal work of Corning and Bier has evolved into a widely established anaesthetic modality.

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Editor-in-Chief

Frank Cross
Consultant Vascular and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, UK

Editors

Neil Barnes
Consultant Physician
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
Ali Jawad
Professor of Rheumatology
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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