James Young Simpson (1811-1870) was a Scottish physician and anesthetic pioneer. Simpson entered the University of Edinburgh when he was 14 years old, completed final examination at the age of 18, but had to wait two years before he got his license to practice medicine. He improved the design of obstetric forceps and fought against the contagion of puerperal sepsis. In 1847, Simpson discovered the properties of chloroform during an experiment with friends in which he learnt that it could be used to put one to sleep. His most noted contribution was the introduction of anesthesia to childbirth. He was a very early advocate of the use of midwives in the hospital environment. He died at his home in 1870 at the age of 58.
March 6th, 2013
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