LOCAL DISINFECTANTS AND ANTISEPTICS.
Lister's use of local antiseptics in surgery is usually spoken of as a discovery, but, without detracting in any way from the credit due to Lister, it should be referred to more correctly as a practical application of previous discoveries.Reichenbach, in 1832, obtained a substance from wood tar which he named creosote. Finding later that it consisted of phenol and phenol ethers, and also finding these same substances in smoke, he concluded, and later conclusively proved, that to them is due the meat preserving activity of smoke.Runge, in 1834, found that the phenol which he obtained from coal tar also possessed the power of preventing putrefaction. Tar and a number of products of a similar nature were long ago recommended and widely used for foul smelling ulcers, but the fact remains that to Lister is universally, and very properly accorded the distinction
THE PHARMACOPEIA AND THE PHYSICIAN. JAMA. 1906;XLVI(9):650–654. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510360024002
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