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Lecture 10

HLTH 385W Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Chromatic Aberration, Antiseptic, PutrefactionPremium

2 pages10 viewsSummer 2018

Human Health Program
Course Code
Bob Gaynes

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John Lister
Before anesthesia, leg amputations done and patients had to be held down
First use of Anesthesia 1846, by Robert Hinkley
Before lister, surgery was painless but not safe!
Surgery after the discovery of anesthesia but before Lister
Postoperative infections were not the same
“Laudable” pus
Erysipelas - rapidly fatal infection inspired several colorful names; beefy, red look
Hospital gangrene - called ward fever
Joseph Lister
Born in 1827 into the Quaker community outside of London
His father, joseph jackson Lister, solved the problem of chromatic aberration of
compound microscopes
He eventually chose Surgery, loved surgery for its own sake
Lister and Surgical Infection
As a professor of surgery at Glasgow, Lister had become obsessed in determining how
to lower the infection rate in the 1860’s
The explanation for the nearly universal occurrence of post surgical infection
They thought that infections happened when the wound was exposed to oxygen
A colleague named Thomas Anderson gave Lister a paper by L Pasteur on the problem
of wine fermentation and putrefaction
Lister read the paper, recognizing that something foreign to the body must be entering
the post operative wounds, just like bacteria had entered fermentation vats resulting in
Lister and Surgical Antisepsis
The images under the microscope prompted Lister to consider bacteria as the cause of
post srugical infections
But how to stop them from causing infection?
Pasteur had used heat (pasteurization) but this wasn’t an option for patients
Lister turned to chemicals
He recalled a nearby town, Carlisle, england, had solved its problem with foul-smelling
sewage by spraying with carbolic acid
On Aug 12, 1865 Lister was called to see an 11yo boy with an open tibial fracture
Knowing this would become infected, he tried something new since amputations had a
mortality rate of ~45%
He tried soaking bandages in carbolic acid, applying them to the wound (changing the
dressings every day)
After 6 wks, the wound healed!
He tried the carbolic acid-soaked dressings on other fractures, local infections, and after
drainage, abscesses)
Some ppl died, but many who were expected to die of sepsis recovered
Statistic significantly
From 50-15%
Published a paper in 1870 on antisepsis
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