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Definition of Carbolic acid

Carbolic acid: A synonym of phenol. In dilute solution, an antimicrobial agent. First used to clean wounds and dress them by the surgeon Joseph Lister who reported in 1867 that his wards at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary had remained free of sepsis, then a great scourge, for 9 months.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22426
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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