Surgery overview

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  • The transformation of surgery
    • Antiseptics
      • Joseph Lister researched infection and Pasteur's germ theory to discover bacteria got into his patients wounds
      • Some surgeons opposed carbolic spray because: it cracked surgeons skin making operations less plesant; surgeons didn't like wasting time on hygiene; some surgeons didn't get the same results; Pasteur's germ theory spread slowly; surgeons didn't believe Lister and they didn't like him.
      • Lister experimented by treating people with fractures by applying carbolic acid and he found the wounds healed well; he then did the same with amputations covering the wounds with soaked bandages
      • Joseph Lister got the idea of carbolic spray from sewage because it prevented the smell of sewage on cattle fields.
      • Carbolic spray lead to operating theatres and hospitals being rigorously cleaned, instruments being sterilised and surgeons began to wear surgical gowns and face masks
    • Blood transfusions
      • Plastic surgery was developed by Harold Gillies who create a hospital for repairing peoples faces and many new techniques were discovered. More than 5000 men were performed on
      • During WW1 scientists discovered how to prevent blood clotting and how to seperate blood to making it last longer and travel
      • Also during WW1 X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen which help surgeons find where the shrapnel was so it could be removed. Brain surgery was also improved because blood transfusions and anaethetics helped keep the patients alive
      • Karl Landsteiner discovered there were different blood groups and demonstrated how they were compatible. Then in 1907 Reuben Ottenberg performed the first blood transfusion using blood typing
    • Anaesthetics
      • Ether was discovered by John Collins Warren and he used it when removing a neck tumour then Robert Liston used it when amputating a leg. But ether irritated the eyes and lung and it was flamable
      • Laughing gas was discovered first by Sir Humphry Davy but it would only work as a local anaesthetic because it didn't fully make people unconscious
      • Chloroform was discovered by James Simpson. He was using ether but was searching for a better anaesthetic and one evening he experimented with other surgeons and found chloroform was very effective.
      • People opposed chloroform because: surgeons enjoyed being the quickest; chloroform was untested and could have had side effects; Hannah Greener died because she received too much; surgeons attempted more complex and dangerous operations; and people believed God gave pain as a gift


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