Antisepsis for Reduction of Human Misery – Lister Joseph
Lister Joseph (1827 to 1912), Father of Modern Surgery, British Surgeon and discoverer of the use of antiseptics was born in Upton, Essex on April 5, 1827; renowned for his establishment of antiseptic methods in surgery and the use of antiseptics in the operation theatre.
Antisepsis is prevention of infection by microorganisms by inhibiting the growth of such infectious agents.
Antiseptic is a substance capable of achieving antisepsis.
Scientist Lister Joseph introduced the method of antiseptic surgery in a London Hospital in 1867. He worked as Professor of Surgery at Glasgow.
Before 1860s many people used to die of wound infection after trauma (injury), surgical operation, etc.
A sufficiently dilute solution of carbolic acid would kill germs but not harm tissues in the human body. So, as a ritual, he began treating everything with weak carbolic acid solution.
Operations were performed under a spray of diluted carbolic acid. Lister began dipping bandages and ligatures used in surgery in this solution. Instruments were dipped in carbolic acid; acid was poured into wounds, gauze was similarly treated. Gradually he noticed a decline in the cases of infection.
Thus Scientist Joseph Lister gradually revolutionalised the concepts of asepsis with his theory of antiseptic technique.
Scientist Lister Joseph applied Louis Pasteur’s germ theory. He concluded that microorganisms caused infection of wounds.
Notwithstanding the teething troubles in convincing people on a discovery, he put forth his views vehemently.
Scientist Lister Joseph article, “On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery” (1867), however, was not initially accepted in England or the United States.
Opposition to the views of a discoverer is not unusual to be vehement in the beginning, but gradually with passage of time truth is established. Truth triumphs.
No less a person of eminence than Queen Victoria underwent surgery in the hands of Lister.
Scientist Lister Joseph was the President of Royal Society from 1895 to 1900, and was one of the first 12 members of the Order of Merit. He was made a baron by Queen Victoria. Mr. Lister became Lord Lister.
Lord Lister died on February 10, 1912. Lister listed the antiseptic in medical literature.
Doctors who qualify for FRCS (Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons) sign in the register wherein Joseph Lister was one of the signatories – a privilege bonanza for a surgeon.
Listerine mouth wash bears the prefix Lister.