Journal Articles

The first absorbent cotton wool and gauze surgical dressing

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The first absorbent cotton wool and gauze surgical dressing

Edward White
15 September 2014

Prior to the acceptance of germ theory, brought about by Joseph Lister (1867) and Louis Pasteur (1880), physicians were content to reuse rags, wadding and bandaging in the interests of saving costs. “One of the most acceptable presents for a hospital was a bundle of old rags,” quotes William John Bishop in his book A History of Surgical Dressings (1959).

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