Medical Surgeries And Its Effects

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In today’s society, there are medical surgeries for almost any disease, injury or normal medical procedure. Doctors are able to stop excessive blood loss, stitch body parts back together, allow people to see again, and even deliver babies safely into the world. All of today’s medical procedures are normal everyday occurrences no one really thinks about. Hardly anyone worries about becoming sick after surgery or dying. There are so many antibiotics and methods that now prevent post-infections. However, this was not always the case in the medical world. In the 1500 and 1600s, surgeons were considered a lesser profession and were often women (“Surgery” par 6-10). They were not trained and learned the practice from trial and error methods as…show more content…
This was often the effect of many patients contracting many life threatening diseases which ultimately lead to death if not treated right away. At this time, many hospitals talked about banning all surgery in fear of risking other patients’ lives. It was believed that these infections traveled through the air as a dangerous gas by a man named Sir Erichsen, however, Lister was not convinced this was the cause. This was the push that led him to focus more on his research. With the push of Sir Erichsen and Pasteur’s research, Lister decided that it was bacteria in the air that caused the infections within the hospitals and in the patient’s home (Lister par 4). He began to focus on the use of carbolic acid to help treat wounds to prevent infections. Carbolic acid, also known as phenol, is a highly toxic chemical if ingested as well as corrosive to the skin. However, the affects carbolic acid has on skin became very useful to Lister and his research. He soon learned, through experiments, it can be used as an anti-infective agent (“Phenol”). Carbolic acid kills off the bad bacteria as well as the dead skin, allowing the new skin to reform. Lister performed his first experiments with this chemical to those who had compound fractures. This gave him the option of amputation in case the carbolic acid reacts badly to the patient (Pitt par 10). He would treat the wounds by dipping a dressing, a piece of cloth that is wrapped around a
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