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  • they deliver babies, they help you when you're sick.

  • They're the ones who examine all the things doctors keep our health and check, and they spend years of training to do it.

  • But that wasn't always the case.

  • Medicine for most of the 19th century was completely different to how it is now.

  • In America, there was virtually no regulation at all.

  • Anybody could declare himself or herself to be a physician.

  • Most physicians graduated, never having practiced at the bedside, never having performed surgery on.

  • They probably never even seen a laboratory.

  • This was not a lucrative profession.

  • It didn't tend to attract people coming from money on.

  • Very few people were willing to invest a lot of money in an education.

  • So basically it was a job no one really wanted to dio.

  • On top of that, medical science itself was still unsophisticated.

  • Many surgeons weren't totally sure would even caused infections.

  • So to treat some of them, they often just cut off a person's limbs.

  • No big deal.

  • There were also pretty neck about keeping their practice sterile.

  • If you're a surgeon in the 18 sixties, the 18 seventies, you might well try and keep towards clean on the surgical table.

  • Clean ish.

  • Yep, yes, you're very likely to be operating in a leather apron, which is stained and encrusted with blood and other bodily fluids, which have accumulated over perhaps decades.

  • In fact, many surgeons would wear their bloody leather apron as a badge of honor because it revealed to everybody just how Maney operations you perform.

  • It would take years before they learned how unsanitary this waas and before they decided.

  • Hey, maybe we shouldn't do that.

  • Up until then, doctors and scientists slowly began to prove that illnesses and infections were caused by microscopic organisms.

  • This idea called the germ theory.

  • It was a big deal of the time, but a lot of people didn't buy it.

  • People would say there's absolutely no way that a tiny microscopic organism could possibly kill.

  • And in the 18 forties he noticed that women who gave birth in one particular award they were dying much more commonly than the mothers who were giving birth in a nearby ward.

  • There was a big difference between these two awards in the first one doctors and medical students.

  • We'd spent part of the day in the morgue on the rest of the day in deliveries.

  • They were passing these germs from the corpses to the birthing women, Andi leaving extraordinarily tragically high numbers of babies without a mother.

  • The other ward was run by nurses who did not participate in autopsies.

  • And that's why those mothers were far, far less often dying.

  • Yeah, Semmelweis argues that some kind of living matter is killing these women on.

  • The doctors were transferring it from the dead to the living, So we installed a bowl of disinfectant on, insisted that a lot of the carers washed their hands in it.

  • The rates of death plummeted.

  • The sad thing is, people still didn't get on board with similar vices.

  • Argument about this living matter, but why?

  • There are a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it was absolutely intolerable for a large number off physicians and obstetricians to recognize the bed unwittingly caused the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of women.

  • Many of them just simply couldn't accept this.

  • But by the 18 eighties, after more and more scientific proof, ah, lot of surgeons started accepting the fact that germs caused illness.

  • They even began to make some changes.

  • They're starting to wash their hands.

  • They're also starting to use tools, which don't have any spaces where bacteria could gather.

  • You think of a classic scalpel, you'd have a wooden handle and then you'd have the metal blade.

  • Any number of places in which bacteria could secrete themselves a men cause infection by the early 19 hundreds has stopped him.

  • Also, toe wear latex gloves so surgery become safer.

  • And it was in less than a generation that surgery was becoming revolutionized in this way.

  • And once physicians and scientists knew which germs are causing certain illnesses, they developed the first vaccines to target specific diseases and then antibiotics to treat infections and save a lot of limbs and some of ice.

  • It wasn't until germ theory was fully established that people looked back and rediscovered some advice.

  • In the early 20th century, the late 19th century statues to him are erected all sorts of biographies, a written he's hailed as a great hero.

  • Want surgeons could guarantee a clean environment in which to operate the entire field of surgery just blossoms on.

  • It becomes the most prestigious fields of medicine.

  • He also see huge changes in the way doctors were trained.

  • Yeah.

  • By the early 20th century, over 100 medical schools were founded in the U.

  • S.

  • And training became more intensive.

  • Medical students began to truly learn the science behind medicine.

  • It was the first time in human history that medical scientists really new.

they deliver babies, they help you when you're sick.

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In the 19th Century, Going to the Doctor Could Kill You | Nat Geo Explores

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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