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Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

PART II.    SPECIFIC DISEASES AND THEIR
BACTERIA.

A.    THE  PHLOGISTIC  DISEASES.

I.    THE ACUTE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES.

CHAPTER   I.
SUPPURATION.

SUPPURATION was at one time supposed to be an
inevitable outcome of the majority of wounds, and,
although, bacteria were observed in the discharges, the
old habit of thought and insufficiency of information
caused most surgeons to believe that they were sponta-
neously developed there.

Lord Lister, whose name we cannot sufficiently honor,
conceived that Pasteur's observations upon the germs of
life floating in the atmosphere, if they explained the con-
tamination of his sterile infusions, might also explain
the changes in wounds, and upon this idea based that
most successful system of treatment known as " antisep-
tic surgery.''

The further development of antiseptic surgery, and the
extremes to which it was carried by specialists, almost
attain to the ridiculous, for not only were the hands of
the operator, his instruments, sponges, sutures, ligatures,
and dressings kept constantly saturated with irritating
germicidal solutions, but at one time the air over the
wound was carefully saturated with pulverized antiseptic
lotions during the whole operation by means of a steam
atomizer. This rather monstrous outcome of the appli-
cation of Lister's system to surgery was the very natural
result of the erroneous idea that the germs which cause

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