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What measures did Lister take to reduce risk of infection?

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Introduction

What measures did Lister take to reduce risk of infection? Joseph Lister has seen CARBOLIC SPARY used to treat sewage and after numerous experiments he found that a thin mist of CARBOLIC ACID sprayed over any type of wound during surgery limited the infection rate in the end. By using the spray the would heal and not develop gangrene if it was bandaged carefully. Lister now began to clean wounds and dress them using a solution of carbolic acid. He was able to announce at a British Medical Association meeting, in 1867, that his wards at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary had remained clear of sepsis for nine months. Why did Lister's method face a lot of opposition? All new medical techniques often faced a lot of opposition and if new antiseptics were ever made there were no exceptions. ...read more.

Middle

Lister was the total opposite of Pasteur because he didn't give impressive public displays and appeared to be cold and arrogant. Lister was always changing his techniques because he wanted to find a substance that would work just as will but without the effects of the CARABOLIC SPRAY. What was the long-term impact of Lister's work? Joseph Lister reduced the occurrence of wounds infected by introducing antiseptic surgery using carbolic acid, but also he was the first to apply Pasteur's ideas to humans. As a result of Lister's work and similar work in hospitals in Germany, the need for cleanliness became a lot more common and it staff in operating theatres began to wear long white gowns which easily showed dirt and use surgical gauze to clean sores and wounds. ...read more.

Conclusion

He then encountered the prejudices and conservatism of the medical world that dominated London. They could not accept that a country doctor had made such an important discovery and Jenner was publicly humiliated when he brought his findings to London. However, what he had discovered could not be denied and eventually his discovery had to be accepted - a discovery that was to change the world. Though these figures appear high - 8048 for the year - they were a sign of the way the fight against smallpox was going. However, as medical treatment was far too expensive for the poor (and it would be the poor who lived in the least hygienic areas) it would be many more years before smallpox was finally eradicated from Britain. The irony is that Jenner gave his cure to the world for free rather than patent it for himself, though doctors could charge their patients for services rendered. ...read more.

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