Lister and Antisceptics

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  • Created by: Geot
  • Created on: 29-04-14 09:18
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  • Joseph Lister - Antisceptics
    • Before
      • Operations took place in open rooms, often with spectators watching on
      • Surgery was carried out on plain, wooden tables which were unsterilised
      • Instruments, ligatures and the surgeons themselves would not be sterilised
      • Gangrene and infection was common, resulting in limb loss or even death
    • After
      • Carbolic spray killed germs, reducing deaths, but it irritated patients and surgeons' skin
      • Rubber gloves were specifically developed as an alternative to leather in the late 1800s to stop this
    • Discovery
      • Lister knew that miasma theory was under serious question from doctors like Pasteur and Koch
        • If germ theory was correct, it meant that many of the current precautions in surgery were completely useless
      • Runge (1797 - 1867) had used a chemical called creosote to preserve wood, as it stopped rotting
        • It was later used to treat sewage in both England and Holland
      • Lister tested his own mixture of processed carbolic acid that was safer and purer
        • He applied the 'carbolic acid' to surgical instruments, wounds and dressings
          • Gangrene was greatly reduced in cases where carbolic acid was applied to the wound
      • In 1865 he clinically tested it on the lint dressing of a boy with a fractured leg after an accident
        • When the dressing was removed, he discovered that no infection had developed
          • After six weeks, the leg had healed perfectly with no infection or complications
        • The test was a successs: he published the results to great acclaim and reward
    • Uses
    • Born: 5th April 1827
      • Quaker, son of a lensmaker
        • Graduated from UCL in 1850 with Bachelor of Medicine
          • Follower of Pasteur and Semmelweiss, supporting germ theory
            • Assistant surgeon at Edinburgh before switching to Glasgow


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