An essay by Dr. Maury Bund, as provided by E. B. Fischadler
Art by Justine McGreevy
We wish to report the discovery of a remarkable new means of general anesthesia. This novel anesthesia provides complete relief from pain, is easy to induce, and has none of the side effects associated with other anesthetics such as ether. It can be used for any surgery, minor or major. In none of our tests has the patient awakened during surgery, nor has any patient ever exhibited indications of sensation once induced.
For convenience, we shall hereafter adopt a name for this new anesthetic: “Outovit.”
The discovery of Outovit was serendipitous, and occurred in the course of routine autopsy. It was noted by one of our assistants that: “At least these guys don’t scream or squirm.” The potential benefits of Outovit as an anesthetic became almost immediately apparent. Having practiced surgery for several years without any anesthesia, or with such inferior forms of anesthesia as whiskey and bite sticks, we have diligently sought a means to prevent the struggles of the patient, which interfere with good surgical technique, and the loud screaming, which appears to be concomitant (note: loud screams are comorbid with struggles in 97% ± 1% of patients, with a level of confidence of 1.0). Reflecting upon the assistant’s comment, we commenced to perform prick tests on several other patients in the morgue that day and discovered that 100% of the patients achieved total relief from pain. We realized we were on to something.
Induction of Outovit is relatively straightforward. Several methods are available, the ones most readily available being either phlebotomy (“bleeding”) or concussion (“the club”). In using the former, blood is drawn, most often from the antecubital vein, until first cessation of consciousness occurs, then continuing until palpation indicates the complete absence of a carotid pulse. In the latter, a club is repeatedly applied to the cranium, ideally with considerable force, until the patient is senseless. This method does not require the precise technique associated with phlebotomy, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is associated with a higher rate of false induction (see below) than phlebotomy, and is under ongoing investigation. Once anesthesia is obtained, the surgeon may proceed without fear of the patient interrupting the procedure.
Interestingly, in approximately 84% of surgical cases prior to our discovery, Outovit is spontaneously induced. Roughly 35% of patients historically experienced spontaneous induction during the procedure, with the remaining 49% spontaneously induced within 2 weeks post-surgery. It should be noted that long term studies suggest spontaneous induction may occur long after the above mentioned postoperative period, in some cases several years later. When those cases are admitted to the cohort, the percentage of spontaneous inductions rises to 100% ± 0% with level of confidence of nearly 1.0.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2014 collection.
Dr. Maury Bund is William Cullen Bryant, Professor of Thanatology at Poe U. His specialty is diseases of the afterlife, which field he entered after finding there was little pathos in pathology. He has published papers on cephalohirsutism and fecal-cranial syndrome. This paper is a stunning example of his out of the box thinking.
E. B Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing. When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT. Mr Fischadler’s technical works have been published in several refereed journals and a book. Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon.
Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at http://www.behance.net/Fickle_Muse and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.Follow us online: