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Joseph ListerJoseph Lister has contributed much to our understanding of the causes of disease. He was born in 1827 in Upton, England. He attended London and Edinburgh Universities. He accepted a position at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary after graduation.

At the beginning of his career he studied the coagulation of blood in injuries and surgical wounds. He noted that there was a very high incidence of infection in wounds, in spite of efforts to keep rooms clean. In his efforts to reduce bacteria, he began to spray carbolic acid on surgical instruments, on wounds, and surgical dressings. He reduced surgical mortality to 15% by the year 1860.

His work with antiseptics met with initial resistance in the medical community but were soon widely accepted.

He was made a baron by Queen Victoria in 1897. Lister died in England in 1912.


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