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.
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 This seems to have good effect in lessening risk of septicaemia, etc., but has in a measure been superseded by the more detailed and exact method of Lister.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.