Wednesday , December 8 2021

World Anesthesiology Day: From 19th century anesthesia to 21st century perioperative medicine


By Javier Garcia, President of the Spanish Society for Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Pain Therapy (SEDAR).

On October 16, we mark the World Day of Anesthesiology, which coincides with World Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Day (CPR). Marking the next day, October 17, International Pain Day. This pile of coincidences means that in two days we celebrate three main areas of special competencies: anesthesia, intensive care and pain treatment.

Anesthesiology began in 1846, with the first demonstrations of general anesthesia by Horace Wells and William Morton. It was not until 1953 that anesthesiologist Dr. Ibsen set up the world’s first intensive care unit at the Kommunehospitalet (municipal hospital) in Copenhagen. Until now, anesthesiology has been limited to the use of intraoperative anesthesia and there has been no special postoperative care. Since the 1950s, more and more anesthesiologists have also taken responsibility for complete and comprehensive postoperative care, either in internal anesthesia units (URPAS) or in anesthesia intensive care units.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a new concept of anesthesiology as perioperative medicine begins to take shape which consists of comprehensive involvement in patient safety before, during and after surgery, working together with surgeons to improve the health outcomes of the surgical process.

This year we are celebrating the Day of Anesthesiology, experiencing first hand this phenomenon of deep transformation of the specialty of anesthesiology in our country as well., where after the pandemic, the accelerating engine of change of our specialty, we join this transformation that has been taking place for decades in other countries around us.

This year, from SEDAR, we focus on three goals:

1) Introduce ourselves as medical specialty dedicated to comprehensive patient care in perioperative medicine, which includes preoperative improvement and enrichment programs, intraoperative care and comprehensive care and postoperative intensive care, and treatment of acute and chronic pain.

2) Equating MIR training plans with Europeans, achieving a fifth year of specialization so that anesthesiologists can spend their stay in appropriate conditions, and finally,

3) Design a national SEDAR CPR plan, improve CPR training for professionals and the general population to save as many lives as possible.

That is why several events and initiatives have been organized these days. One of them is in Salamanca, where SEDARCIL will hold workshops on CPR. In addition, our colleagues from Galicia AGARiD produced a fantastic and very instructive video about our specialty. To find out all the works performed on the occasion of the World Day of Anesthesiology, you can go to or follow the news of the medical society on our twitter account @ sedar_es.

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