CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Karl Koller

(Dec 3, 1857 – March 21, 1944)

💠Austrian Ophthalmologist

His contributions…

🔹Karl Koller studied medicine at the medical school of Vienna in Austria, which was one of the most outstanding institution in the world in that period.
🔹He completed his medical studies along with his friend Dr. Sigmund Freud in 1883.
🔹During the year 1884, the Alkaloid Cocaine was almost considered a universal panacea.
🔹After some time, it attracted the attention of Dr. Sigmund Freud. In cocaine, he had noticed the pain-killing activities and believed to use it to treat depression and morphine addiction.
🔹While Dr. Koller was helping in Freud’s experiment, he found that cocaine causes numbness in the skin and mucous membrane.
🔹Then he promptly tested cocaine solutions on animal eyes and on his own eyes and thereby confirmed that cocaine would be good to use as a local anesthetic for the eyes.
🔹Earlier, the eye surgery was treated as extremely difficult because of the involuntary reflex movements of a patient’s eye that occurs in response to even the slightest touch.
🔹However, Dr. Koller was the one who discovered that a few drops of cocaine solution causes dilatation of the pupil and causing local anesthetic effect.
🔹In fact, he was the first to demonstrate the possibility of using cocaine solution practically in medicine, especially in ophthalmology.
🔹In 1884, Dr. Koller published a paper describing cocaine as the First local anesthetic agent. He thus inaugurated the modern era of local anesthesia.
🔹Thereupon, his paper was highly recognized and praised by many ophthalmologists all over the world.
🔹Subsequent to his discovery, the local anesthesia method was quickly adopted in other medical fields like nose, throat surgeries and also in dentistry.
🔹Further, Dr. Koller had done his formal education on ophthalmology under Dr. Herman Snellen and then emigrated to the United States in 1888 to practice ophthalmology in New York.
🔹Ultimately, this significant achievement made Dr. Koller a recipient of many awards.
🔹Moreover, he was the first to receive the most prestigious Lucien Howe Medal by the American Ophthalmological Society in 1922. He was also honored with Adolf Kussmaul Award Medal in 1902 and the New York Academy of Medicine Award Medal in 1930.
🔹At the time of his invention of cocaine local anaesthetic agent, the Coca-Cola soft drink was introduced in America (1886). As Cocaine and Coca-Cola were derived from same coca plant, his friend Dr. Sigmund Freud nicknamed Dr. Karl Koller as “Coca Koller.”

A Day to Commemorate…

The Pioneer Ophthalmologist

Dr. Karl Koller🙏🏼

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