Open Wound Management

Although Lister’s antiseptic principles were widely accepted by the medical community due to his successful results, there was also a competing theory at the time known as “open wound management”. Numerous respected surgeons belonged to this group for some time, namely Theodor Billroth, Edmund Rose, and Richard Volkmann. They believed that wounds should always be exposed to open air as opposed to being irrigated with chemical substances. “Open wound management” also very clean hands and instruments, and free drainage of wound secretions. Although these methods were very successful, their success rate was mostly due to the fact that Lister’s antiseptic surgical procedures were being practiced at the same time, so the risk of spreading infection was decreased even without the open wound management techniques.