This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Demarquay and Leconte found that atonic and gangrenous ulcers and diphtheritic wounds recovered under applications of carbonic acid gas when they had not yielded to other remedies. The cicatrization of wounds was also favored by it, and when injected into the cellular tissue in cases of tenotomy, repair of tendons was said to be hastened by it, while by oxygen it was retarded. Good results in the same class of cases have been reported from Rehme, Nauheim, and other Spas where the gas is employed therapeutically (v. p. 167).
Mr. Hutchinson has strongly recommended the continuous use of lead lotions in operative surgery. Within about six hours of any serious amputation he applies over and near the part, compresses soaked in a lotion containing 1/2 oz. of liquor plumbi, and 1 1/2 oz. of spirit of wine, in a pint of water, and kept constantly moistened every half-hour for several days and nights. This constant attention is essential to success, and is the only troublesome part of the treatment, which seems to prevent inflammation, to have some antiseptic power, and certainly to promote union by first intention - no poisonous symptoms have been observed from it (Lancet, i., 1875). Zeissl advocated a similar dressing for bubo, after observing the unfavorable results of routine treatment by incision, etc., as carried out in certain German hospitals; he kept the surface constantly covered with linen soaked in solution of basic acetate of lead, and found that inflammation and suppuration were much controlled, and convalescence hastened (Medical Times, i., 1872, p. 521).
Mr. C. de Morgan, and others, recommended the sponging of recent wounds, whether from accident or operation, with strong solutions of zinc chloride (20 to 40 gr. in the ounce), on disinfectant principles, i.e., to destroy "germs" (Lancet, i., 1866; Medico-Chirurgical Revieiw, January, 1866). This seems to have good effect in lessening risk of septicaemia, etc., but has in a measure been superseded by the more detailed and exact method of Lister. It is, however, still largely used, and is valuable in many cases, especially where Listerism cannot be carried out: it cleanses the wound and any old sinuses, and lessens and prevents suppuration. Some surgeons employ it especially after excision of malignant tumors.