Lord Joseph Lister, pioneer of antiseptic surgery

Lord Joseph Lister, pioneer of antiseptic surgery

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lord Joseph Lister (1827-1912) the English surgeon who pioneered the use of antiseptic conditions in surgery. He knew of Pasteur's research into diseases caused by microorganisms and it occurred to him to attempt to prevent post-operative infection, which frequently killed patients who underwent surgery, by treating wounds with carbolic acid (phenol) and thereby killing any germs present. The results were excellent and despite initial resistance the practice of antiseptic surgery soon became accepted. In 1885 he became president of the Royal Society.

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Keywords: antiseptic surgery, carbolic acid, lister, lord joseph, portraits, surname l, use in surgery

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