University College London
Sir Joseph Lister is a renowned English surgeon who discovered antiseptic surgery. He is distinguished as the ‘Father of Modern Surgery’ for his contribution to sterile surgery that led to the safety of patients who underwent complex surgeries. He developed the principles of cleanliness that changed the face of medicine and surgical practice forever. Joseph Lister is also known as the founder of antiseptic medicine and the inventor of preventive medicine. He was a religious man who strongly believed in God, religious principles and Christianity. He belonged to the Quaker homes in Upton and received education from various prestigious schools and universities. Later in life, he received various designations and honors and also served as a personal surgeon to Queen Victoria. Joseph Lister’s breakthrough in antiseptic surgery saved millions of lives and also paved way to the advancement of modern surgical procedures. Read this biography to know more about Sir Joseph Lister and his contributions to medical science.
Joseph Lister was familiar with wine fermentation and on reading Louis Pasteur’s research papers, he realized that germs were air-borne and could also affect non-living matter, like wine, to go bad. This also proved Lister’s argument that infections did not begin from within the wound. This observation made it possible for Lister to believe that infections could be eliminated by restricting air-borne germs from contaminating the wound. Although Pasteur had used filters and heat to destroy germs in the wine, this method was not applicable for human flesh. On learning that carbolic acid or phenol was used as a disinfectant in the sewers to kill parasites, Lister began to think hard. Later, he learned that these were safe to be used on skin. He began to use carbolic acid to clean his hands, instruments, and bandages before, during and after surgery. The bandages were also soaked in carbolic acid before covering the wounds.
In 1869, Lister invented a new technique, by filling a pump spray with carbolic acid to be used in the operation theatres. Lister’s chemical antiseptic proved beneficial to kill germs and soon several hospitals adopted this antiseptic surgical practice, which saved countless lives. After demonstrating his successful antiseptic techniques in various London hospitals, this procedure was accepted worldwide.
JOSEPH LISTER TIMELINE
Joseph Lister was born on April 5, 1827.
He was awarded the ‘Bachelor of Medicine’ (MB) from the University of London. He was also awarded the Fellowship of the ‘Royal College of Surgeons’ the same year.
He became an assistant to James Syme.
He served as a resident house surgeon in Edinburgh.
He was elected Fellow of the ‘Royal Society’.
He was appointed Professor of Surgery, University of Glasgow.
He was appointed professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Edinburgh.
He was appointed Chairman of Clinical Surgery, Kings College, London.
He was appointed personal Surgeon in Ordinary to Queen Victoria.
He was accredited with the Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He was also awarded Honorary Doctorate from University of Oxford.
Joseph Lister was awarded the Boudet Prize.
He was knighted as Sir Joseph Lister and was made a Baronet.
He was also made the Foreign Secretary of the‘Royal Society’.
He was raised to the peerage and titled Baron Lister.
He was awarded the ‘Order of Merit’ and made the Privy Councilor.
He passed away on February 10, 1912.
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Books by Joseph Lister
On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery (Audiobook in MP3 Format)
by Joseph Lister
The Autobiography Of Joseph Lister, Of Bradford In Yorkshire (1842)
by Joseph Lister
The Autobiography of Joseph Lister, to Which Is Added a Contemporary Account of the Defence of Bradford and Capture of Leeds by the Parliamentarians in 1642. Ed. by T. Wright
by Joseph Lister
Books About Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister: Father of modern surgery (Armed Services edition)
by Rhoda Truax
The autobiography of Joseph Lister, of Bradford in Yorkshire, to which is added a contemporary account of the defence of Bradford and capture of Leeds by the Parliamentarians in 1642 [FACSIMILE]
by Thomas, 1810-1877 Wright
Biography - Lowbury, Edward (Joseph Lister) (1913-): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by Gale Reference Team