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On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery

On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery by Joseph Lister
By: (1827-1912)

Joseph Lister's groundbreaking work, "On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery," revolutionized the field of medicine and saved countless lives. In this seminal piece, Lister introduced the concept of antiseptic surgery, advocating for the use of carbolic acid to sterilize surgical instruments and prevent infection.

Lister's meticulous research and methodical approach to surgical procedures laid the foundation for modern aseptic techniques and infection control practices. His emphasis on the importance of cleanliness and sterile environments in the operating room marked a significant departure from the prevailing medical practices of the time.

Throughout the book, Lister provides compelling evidence to support his antiseptic principles, citing numerous case studies and clinical observations. His dedication to improving patient outcomes and reducing the risk of post-operative complications is evident in every page.

Overall, "On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery" is a groundbreaking work that has had a lasting impact on the practice of medicine. Lister's innovative ideas have stood the test of time and continue to shape surgical practices today. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the evolution of surgical techniques.

Book Description:

Joseph Lister was born near London in 1827. He studied medicine at the University of London and pursued a career as a surgeon in Scotland. He became professor of Surgery in Glasgow and later (1877) at Kings College Hospital, in London.

Lister’s contribution to the advancement of surgery cannot be overestimated. Before his work on antisepsis, wounds were often left open to heal, leading to long recoveries, unsightly scarring, and not infrequently amputation or death due to infection. Lister’s work enabled more wounds to be closed primarily with sutures, drastically reducing healing time, scarring, amputations, and deaths due to infection.

Lister retired in 1896 but was called back to assist in the operation on King Edward VII for appendicitis just days before the King’s coronation. The King later credited Lister for his survival and quick recovery. Lister died in 1912.

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