Thursday, March 7, 2013

Miracle In A Bottle...!

I know that many of us have heard all the horror stories of the disastrous results from early amputations. A sad page in the history of medical care, without a doubt.

Due to the creation of one product, that death rate was drastically reduced. Strange how just a single product can change the direction of medical procedure.

Listerine


Listerine was developed by Dr. Joseph Lawrence, based on pioneering work done by Joseph Lister, whom he named it after. It wasn’t intended for oral use however—it was simply an antiseptic, and the first one. Before Lister’s discovery that carbolic acid killed germs, far more people died from infections incurred during surgery than from the injuries themselves (illustrated by a saying from the time: “The operation was a success, but the patient died.”)

Consider: since nobody knew how to stop infections before Lister, amputations (to keep them from spreading) were the most common major surgery of the time, and the death rate from this procedure was around forty percent. By the time Listerine had been in use for about twenty five years, in 1910, the death rate from amputations had dropped to a measly three percent. One shudders to think how many more who were injured in World War I (still the one of the deadliest wars of all time) would have died if not for Listerine.

Because carbolic acid is hard on the skin, surgeons eventually began using boracic acid in its place. But Listerine’s use had been growing as an oral antiseptic, and eventually that use eclipsed any other. The mouthwash market was originated by Listerine, the only product (with the possible exception of the condom) to both save millions of lives and make date night more awesome!

I think we often forget that early medicine was, at best, primitive by today's standards. Often the tireless work of one or two dedicated people can really make a difference in the quality of care! The lives of so many folks have been affected in a positive manner by just such a development!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Looking more like Spring everyday!

13 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting!

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Yeah, I thought it was!

Thanks for coming over today!

Sixbears said...

For a while they actually did surgery while a fine chemical mist sprayed over everything.

With all the drug resistant germs out there, we might have to go back to it.

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Always keep a bottle on hand. It is also good for soothing those pesky mosquito bites. A little dab will do 'ya!
Will love sitting on you patio - more snow for us tonight. Fire up the stove - I'll bring fresh eggs and bacon!

Fimbulmyrk said...

Can´t but say the same! Good job you´re doing here;-)!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that Listerine grew from that training - cool! Treats bad breath and amputee wounds (hopefully not simultaneously needed).

linda m said...

Very interesting! Who would have known that is where Listerine came from.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Just think how primitive our medical treatment will seem a hundred and fifty years from now!!

JO said...

Very interesting fact I didn't know.
Another piece of history learned here at your place. Thank you.

I love this weather but tomorrow it turns cold and rainy again.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
I actually didn't know that about the mist. Thanks for telling me about it!

I'm for anything that can help make operations more germ free!

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Phyllis...
Some medicines like Listerine are pretty handy to keep around. I find that they can come in handy for many things! Ya just never know!

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Fimbulmyrk...
I appreciate that, my friend.

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Anon 7:10...
I didn't know all this either. Guess it's true that we can learn something new every day!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Linda... I sure didn't know, that's for sure!

I really appreciate you coming by today!


Hey Dizzy...
Boy, isn't that the truth! The folks in the future will think we were barbaric to say the least!

Thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Jo...
Just doing what I can to entertain, sweetie.

Thanks for the visit today!

Rob said...

Talk about miracles, penicillin saved my life when I was 5.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
Many of us would certainly have been in bad trouble had it not been for some things like penicillin. Glad it saved ya, my friend!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Adam said...

Didn't know this. Very cool!