"A Time to Heal": The Diffusion of Listerism in Victorian Britain

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American Philosophical Society, 1999 - Medical - 173 pages
Joseph Lister was one of many people in the 19th century who experimented with new techniques. He related the germ theory of fermentation to the cause of putrefaction in wounds. That was his singularly insightful deduction, & it has permanently changed health care. A number of factors contributed to the diffusion of Listerism, but it was adopted because its success was greater & more consistent than other methods of healing the sick. The circumstances which made this possible were a theory for explaining the consistency, scientific evidence to support the theory, & a courageous person who was capable of bringing about the necessary changes, even if it meant risking personal & professional alienation. That person was Joseph Lister. This study records how with much pain & trial & error the prevention of nosocomial infections was achieved in the 19th century. Today, we have learned we must implement again Lister's prevention techniques & other precautions in our hospitals to prevent the spread of nosocomial infections. Illus.

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Contents

Social Interpretation as a Factor in the Diffusion of Listerism
17
National Competition as a Factor in the Diffusion of Listerism
49
Theoretical Orientation as a Factor in the Diffusion of Listerism
63
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