The subject naturally divides itself into three parts: (1) the conditions before the introduction of the antiseptic method by Lister; (2) the means by which his system was discovered and developed, and (3) the conditions existing after the introduction of the method, i. e., at the present time.
My surgical life covers all three of these periods since I graduated in medicine in 1862, some years before Lister began his work. I have, therefore, fought my way from the horrors of the preantiseptic days up to the delights of the present antiseptic days.1
I. THE PREANTISEPTIC PERIOD
In my early surgical experience every accidental wound and every surgical operation (that is, an intentional wound) was followed by inflammation and suppuration, i. e., the discharge of "pus" or "matter." This was not only constantly expected as an unavoidable process of Nature and believed to be needful for healing,
KEEN WW. MODERN ANTISEPTIC SURGERY: AND THE RÔLE OF EXPERIMENT IN ITS DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT. JAMA. 1910;LIV(14):1104–1109. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550400001001a
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