Ring the bell and descend down from the brightness of day into the gloomy enclaves of the lower floor in the Association of Anaesthetists. The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre awaits. 

I have to admit, I’d never come across the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre until I started researching my Unusual London Book last year. It really is a secret spot even very few Londoners know about. 

London Anaesthesia Centre

So what’s the deal? 

A small but well curated collection in Marylebone showcases the curious and interesting history of the use of anaesthetics, pain relief and resuscitation in medicine. 

On the face of it, those histories are relatively tame, yet the primitive implements used tell quite a different (and quite gruesome) story. 

Hand bellows used to resuscitate patients, needles as thick as your little finger, the original chloroform inhaler used to knock people out before surgery – it’s a fascinating glimpse into the development of a world we now take for granted. 

 

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Anaesthesia Heritage Centre – Practical Information and Map

21 Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1PY

www.aagbi.org

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