Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: aseptic surgical techniques

  • Ernst von Bergmann, the surgeon who heat-sterilized surgical instruments

    Ernst von Bergmann. Meisenbach Riffarth & Co., Berlin, c. 1890. Via Wikimedia. After Louis Pasteur showed that diseases were caused not by miasmas but by bacteria, Lord Lister pioneered antiseptic surgery by seeking to exterminate these unwelcome organisms with his carbolic acid pump. This martial approach was later followed by aseptic surgery, in which bacteria…

  • Theodor Kocher (1841–1917)

    Emil Theodor Kocher. Les Prix Nobel, 1909, p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went…