Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
a procedure for the chemical and biological disinfection of wounds, objects touching them, the operative field, and the surgeon’s hands and for the counteraction of infection in the patient’s organism. In surgery, antisepsis is used only in combination with asepsis. Antisepsis as a method of preventing microbes from penetrating a wound was first proposed in 1867 by the English surgeon J. Lister. The method consisted of applying to the wound a multi-layered hermetic dressing saturated with carbolic acid, spraying carbolic acid into the air of the operating room, smearing the operative field with it, and treating the surgeon’s hands, instruments, sutures, and gauze with it. The acute toxic effect of carbolic acid on the wound, on the patient’s organism, and on those nearby very quickly forced them to give up this method. The science of antisepsis continued to develop as more effective but less toxic antiseptic agents (antiseptics) appeared possessing bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties that activate the organism’s defense forces, increase phagocytosis, have no harmful effects on the organism, and do not lose their effectiveness upon contact with pus. Antibiotics most fully meet these requirements. Preparations derived from sulfanilamides—Prontalbin, “sulfazol,” “sulfodimezin,” “aethazol,” and others—which are used predominantly in streptococcus, pneumococcus, and meningococcus infections, also possess antiseptic properties. The phytoncids contained in a number of plants—garlic, onion, European bird cherry, black currant, citrus and coniferous trees, and others—possess good antibacterial properties.
REFERENCEMnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po khirurgii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962.
A. B. GALITSKII