WORLD ANESTHESIA DAY – Third Saturday in October

World Anesthesia Day - October 16
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


Every year on October 16, World Anesthesia Day celebrates the discovery of anesthesia. This important discovery makes it possible to undergo surgical procedures without feeling any pain.

If you have ever had surgery, you probably can’t imagine going through it without anesthesia. This important medical invention changed hospitals forever. In fact, anesthesia is considered one of the seven most important medical discoveries in history. A dentist named William T.G. Morton is considered the founder of modern anesthesia. Today, 230 million major surgical procedures are performed under anesthesia each year.

Anesthesia causes a temporary loss of sensation or awareness. Surgeons use it in every imaginable surgery, and it prevents the patient from feeling pain during a surgical procedure. Anesthesia also helps reduce trauma related to surgical procedures. When a person undergoes anesthesia, the patient usually does not remember anything that happened. While there are many benefits of anesthesia, there can be some risks associated as well. It is possible to overdose on anesthesia. It is also possible to suffer adverse side effects from anesthesia. For these reasons, ongoing research regarding anesthesia safety is crucial. Nearly 5 billion people throughout the world lack access to safe anesthesia practices.

Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia. These medical professionals specialize in sensation and pain management and administer many types of anesthesia, including local, general, epidurals, and full sedation. They are also experts in the field of pharmacology, the study of the human body’s response to certain drugs. Unfortunately, because of the demands of their job, anesthesiologists are at high risk for burnout.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldAnesthesiaDay

Anesthesiologists from over 150 countries take part in this day. Hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals worldwide hold events to commemorate the first successful demonstration of anesthesia. These events include film screenings, exhibits, and seminars on the history of anesthesia. To participate:

  • Learn more about the history of anesthesia.
  • If you know an anesthesiologist, thank them for all they do.
  • Read about famous anesthesiologists, such as Dr. William New, John Lundy, and Edmund Gaskin Boyle.
  • Watch a documentary on anesthesia like “The Mystery of Anesthesia” or “Scream! The Story of Anesthetics.”

Share this day on social media with #WorldAnesthesiaDay.


A dentist named William T.G. Morton performed the first successful use of an anesthetic while performing surgery on October 16, 1846 in the surgical amphitheater of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA) began hosting events on October 16 in 1903, to commemorate the event. Throughout the years, countries around the world have joined in to celebrate World Anesthesia Day. Some countries call it National Anesthesia Day or Ether Day.


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