On This Day In Chemistry

August 12th

Joseph Lister used the antiseptic chemical phenol in surgery for the first time on this day in 1865

The British surgeon was a pioneer of antiseptic surgery and pushed the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Using sterile instruments and cleaning wounds were of great success and vastly reduced the number of people dying from post‑operation infections from 50% to 15%.

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