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August Bier

  • 24 November 1861 – 12 March 1949
  • German surgeon
  • First to perform spinal anesthesia (1898)
    • The patient was scheduled to undergo segmental resection of his left ankle, which was severely infected with tuberculosis, but he dreaded the prospect of general anesthesia because he had suffered severe adverse side effects during multiple previous operations. Therefore, Bier suggested “cocainization” of the spinal cord as an alternative to general anesthesia. Bier injected 15 mg of cocaine intrathecally, which was sufficient to allow him to perform the operation. The subject was fully conscious during the operation, but felt no pain.
  • Became Chief of Surgery in Berlin
  • Developed IV regional anesthesia “the Bier block” in 1908
  • Was also a pioneer in sports medicine