Ernst von Bergmann, German surgeon

Ernst von Bergmann, German surgeon

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Caption: Ernst von Bergmann (1836-1907). 1889 engraving of the German surgeon Ernst von Bergmann. Bergmann was a pioneer of aseptic surgery and the first to introduce steam heat sterilisation of surgical instruments, dramatically reducing the rates of surgical infections due to sepsis. His experience during the Russo-Turkish war (1877-1878) was key to his understanding of the dangers of unsanitary conditions during surgery. He authored a classic work on cranial surgery entitled, 'Die Chirurgische Behandlung der Hirnkrankheiten' (1888; The Surgical Treatment of Brain Disorders), and wrote the first textbook on nervous system surgery in 1870.

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