ContributionReported use of carbolic acid to prevent wound infection in surgery.
ReferenceBrock (1961)
NotesBased on Pasteur's report of germs in air and in putrefaction. Major insight by Lister, and major boost for germ theory -- even though germs not seen. Waller points out that in the 1860s many other surgeons were also trying to minimize post-surgical infections by hygienic means (in the wake of the work of Semmelweis, Holmes, nightingale etc). Some were even using phenol, and getting better results than Lister. Because of his focus on airborne infection of wounds, Lister tended to rely on phenol rather than cleanliness. Lister's two papers of 1867 (minus the case histories) are reprinted in Brock, 1961. Note also Fisher's biography of Lister.
Pathogen ClassBacteria

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