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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Anesthesia Heritage Centre

I recently spent an hour  at the Anesthesia Heritage Centre. Yes, this is a very specific medical museum but it really turned out to be a great one to visit if you have a spare half an hour (and an appointment) the Museum is situated in the basement of The Association of Anestheticists just behind Oxford Street and past the BBC Offices - so a great place to get cultural before shopping and food. 

  The Victorian town house was of course stunning but what I really loved about this place was how well the space was used. Every inch of the cabinets were filled with interesting objects, documenting the history of anesthetics and their recreational uses.

 Prior to 1846 few operations could be performed because of the sheer amount of pain a patient would go have to go through, however the recreational use of sniffing gases and vapours helped pave the way to painless surgery - possibly the biggest discovery in modern medicine.

A great summary of the history of anesthesia can be found here if you can't access the museum:

Harnesses used for Anesthesiology.
I imagine this space is often used for research and less so for a visit but if you are a bit of a medical history geek I strongly suggest booking an appointment (it makes you feel like a Victorian Gentlemen) and have a nosey. 

Beautiful bottles

The Museum is free but it is highly recommended that you make an appointment by emailing

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
21 Portland Place
Tel. 020 7631 1650
Fax. 020 7631 4352

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