Brief Contributed Articles
DR. J. S. NIEDERKORN, VERSAILLES, OHIO
Of all the germicidal and antiseptic agents at the physician's command in my opinion none are superior and many are not equal to Lloyd's asepsin. As an all around remedy for the purpose of obtaining an aseptic condition in the treatment of wounds and without doing the least injury to tissue granulation, asepsin has all the advantages. I know of no better anti-putrefactive.
For instance, a case: A patient cuts himself in the arm with an old and dirty tobacco-knife, and without first cleansing the wound he applies some favorite homemade ointment. After several days, the wound not healing, he goes to the doctor with it. The wound is gaping, sloughing, bad odor, with much swelling and inflammatory condition of surrounding tissues. First I thoroughly cleanse the wound, removing all sloughing and necrotic tissue; then I saturate sterile gauze with a solution of asepsin and apply this directly to the wound, bandage with more sterile gauze, and instruct patient to keep all of the dressings moist with the asepsin solution.
I make a solution by adding one dram of asepsin to one-half pint of water, but first be sure the water is sterile; the strength of the solution may be varied. My rule has been: the more purulency there has been about the wound the stronger I make the solution.
Wounds of the hand, the result of accidental explosion of fourth of July fireworks, are dressed with sterile gauze saturated with a strong solution of asepsin, after first removing all burned and necrotic tissue, and then the wound and dressing are constantly kept wet with the solution, with the result that healing occurs without any purulency or unpleasant sequelae.
It simply is an ideal remedy where moist dressings are desired, pleasant of odor, does not corrode or ruin instruments, is most effective as a bactericide and wounds usually heal without an unsightly scar remaining. What is true of incised wounds also applies to lacerated and crushed wounds, or to the cleansing of abscesses and to keeping them clean.
COMMENT: Asepsin is a chemical salt, definite in its character, formed by the union of methyl salicylic acid with sodium. It is a delicate crystalline body, soluble in water; alkaline in reaction. It has a pleasant taste of wintergreen. It is not irritating to sensitive surfaces, but prevents fermentation and decomposition. Added to a dilute acid, it immediately decomposes, giving off the oil of gaultheria in minute globules. It has been called nascent wintergreen, because of this property, which, undoubtedly adds much to its antiseptic virtues.
It was introduced by Lloyd Bros. in 1880 and investigated during the next four or five years very thoroughly by Prof. A. J. Howe, who formed a very high opinion of its properties, and helped established a place for it in our therapeutics, as an internal and external antiseptic. It possesses no poisonous properties. A solution of ten grains in a pint of water is sufficiently strong for ordinary antiseptic purposes.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.