Ignaz Semmelweis

Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

On August 12, 1865, British surgeon Dr. Joseph Lister became the first surgeon to perform an antiseptic operation by liberal use of carbolic acid (phenol) as a disinfectant. Using phenol to sterilise surgical instruments and to clean wounds led to a reduction in post-operative infections and made surgery safer for patients. Joseph Lister was born on April 5, 1827 in Upton, Essex, England. He attended Quaker Schools with a great emphasis on sciences which gave…
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Sir James Young Simpson and the Chloroform

Sir James Young Simpson and the Chloroform

Sir James Young Simpson, 1st Baronet (1811–1870) On November 12, 1847, Scottish obstetrician and important figure in the history of medicine Sir James Young Simpson published his self trial experiments with the new anesthetic chloroform. “All pain is per se and especially in excess, destructive and ultimately fatal in its nature and effects.” (James Young Simpson) Simpson was born in Bathgate near Edinburg, West Lothian, Scotland, as the seventh son and eighth child of an impecunious baker. Simpson attended the University of Edinburgh…
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Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865) On July 1, 1818, Hungarian physician of German extraction Ignaz Semmelweis was born. He is best known for his discovery of the cause of puerperal (“child bed”) fever and introduced antisepsis into medical practice by insisting on health workers rigorously handwashing between patients, and clean bed sheets. At first, Ignaz Semmelweis studied law at the University of Vienna, but switched to medicine shortly after, specializing in obstetrics. At the…
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