Monday, March 30, 2009

Mister Lister Is The Victorian Of The Month!

Sir Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, Lord Lister of Lyme Regis, Surgeon to the Queen (1827 - 1912)

About half of all Victorians who underwent major surgery died. Then, along came Dr. Lister.

Dr. Lister was the first to use an antiseptic in surgery. He did this by spraying carbolic acid around. He sprayed so much carbolic acid that doctors got sick, but at least the sick Victorians got better!

(Later, Dr. Joseph Lawrence would refine the product and name it Listerine. It is uncertain whether Dr. Lister appreciated this.)

Some of Dr. Lister's colleagues thought it was cool to be covered in blood. But Dr. Lister, who promoted sterile surgery, wore clean clothes and even washed his hands!

In 1854, Dr. Lister became assistant to, and friend of, Dr. Syme. Then, he married Dr. Syme's daughter, Agnes, and became Dr. Syme's son-in-law, too. Agnes and Dr. Lister spent their honeymoon visiting leading medical centres in France and Germany for three months―that's wild! From then on, Agnes helped Dr. Lister in the laboratory until she died.

He tied broken bones together with sterilized silver wire and left it inside patients!

He used rubber drainage tubes on Queen Victoria!

He saved King Edward VII from appendicitis!

Even the common Bandaid can be directly traced to his name.

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