Anaesthetics and Antiseptics. What, who, when? What was medicine like before these discoveries? What was medicine like after these discoveries?. What, who, when?.
Operations were carried out very quickly to reduce the pain
Patients were held down to reduce the amount of movement they made.
Surgeons such as Liston could remove a leg in minutes
Humphrey Davy used LAUGHING GAS to reduce pain in 1799
ETHER was also used to knock out patients but it had serious problems
Even if patients survived an operation they would usually die from infection – the death rate from leg amputations was nearly 50%
Germs would enter the would and cause SEPTICAEMIA or blood poisoning
Surgeons reused bandages and did not wash their hands or sterilise their instruments
Semmelweiss, a Hungarian doctor was the first doctor to recommend better hygiene for doctors in the 1840sWhat was medicine like before?
The first reaction was negative – doctors were unsure about the long term effects of chloroform
The death of Hannah Greener in 1848 from too much chloroform scared surgeons
Anaesthetics did not make surgery safer – in fact the death rate got HIGHER as a result of the more complex operations that doctors started doing
However after Queen Victoria used chloroform during the delivery of her child in 1857 it became standard surgical practice
To start with many surgeons did not like Lister’s methods – the carbolic spray was messy and got in the way
Surgeons were still convinced that they needed to do quick operations and Lister’s methods slowed them down
Many surgeons simply did not believe the results and it was too soon for Pasteur’s germ theory to have spread
However the death rate from operations dropped dramatically and by the late 1890s ASEPTIC surgery was being used to ensure absolute cleanlinessWhat was medicine like after?