Museum of Medicine
School of Medicine, University of Crete

Exhibits / First anesthesia apparatus


Sir Frederick William Hewitt (1857-1916), a well-known English anesthesiologist, designed the large-hole ether inhaler in 1901, which can be refilled with ether while in use. The mask of the apparatus is attached in place so that it does not detach unexpectedly. Most importantly, the device receives a larger volume of air, making it easier for the patient to breathe.

Hewitt Inhaler for ether inhalation anesthesia and Yankauer-type face mask for chloroform administration
Yankauer-type wire visor fitting on the contour of the face. Τhe mask is placed over the patient's nose and mouth and a gauze is spread over the wire mesh and fastened to its position with a second mesh. In order for the patient to be anaesthetized, the anaesthetic substance is poured in drops slowly onto the gauze, so that the patient breathes the anaesthetic along with the air. This type of visor is sometimes used today for ether anaesthesia in developing countries when there are no other means. The American otolaryngologist Sidney Yankauer (1872-1932) presented the anesthesia mask in 1904.


The Hewitt Inhaler device

The documentation material is courtesy of Eleni Askitopoulou, Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology

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School of Medicine
University of Crete
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Voutes, Heraklion Crete, GR