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Carbolic Sprayer - Steam Culture

Posted by Ritchie Ware on Aug 23, 2016 11:10:07 AM




Today on Steam Culture, Brent talks about the use of steam in the world of antiseptics.

It is fascinating to learn about how steam played a role in ushering in antiseptics. An English Surgeon by the name of Joseph Lister was losing patients after surgery at an alarming rate and knew that he had to do something to change this terrible trend. He decided to start with the air in the operating room by using a carbolic steam spray. He then moved on to treating wounds and bandages of the patients with the carbolic solution. All of his work reduced the mortality rate by a significant amount. Before he started the process the mortality rate was 50% and it dropped to 15%. 

Dr. Lister's advancement also brought about the carbolic steam spray device, which eventually lead to steam sterilization in autoclave. By the way, if you were wondering about Dr. Lister's last name, it does in fact have something to do with Lister(ine) 

Watch this episode of Steam Culture to see how his work advanced medicine in a positive way. 


Topics: Steam Culture


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