View Single Post
Old 06-26-2017, 07:08 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,122
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I was about to say something exactly like this. There were a limited number of things a doctor could actually help with. There was aspirin and, given anesthetics, a surgeon could remove a sick appendix, but by and large the most they could do was hold your hand and make a prognosis.
Folks, you certainly CAN do surgery without anesthesia. I don't know where you get this notion that no one removed anything from a human body before anesthesia. Lots of surgeons did lots of surgery before anesthesia.

It sucked if you were the patient, of course, and there would be several people holding you down so you did thrash too much, and surgeons got used to ignoring the screaming and got the job done as quickly as possible. But surgery did occur back in the old days. It helped often enough that desperate people continued to undergo it when necessary.

Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
Carbolic acid is a disinfectant, like for cleaning surgical instruments, it's not something you take as a drug to treat infections. (It does have some use as a drug; it's the active ingredient (in small, dilute, doses) in throat spray.)
Lister used carbolic acid in dressings and the like, so it was at least used topically. Of course, it also tended to damage healing tissues as well as killing bacteria but it still beat devastating infections and sepsis.

Last edited by Broomstick; 06-26-2017 at 07:08 AM.