The Man Who Saved Millions Of Lives With Three Simple Words

Grace Higgins | September 29th, 2019

During the 1850s, an ambitious Hungarian doctor by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis stepped up to speak in front of the Vienna Medical Societies lecture hall. It was a famous hall where some of the world’s biggest medical breakthroughs and discoveries had been announced. And that evening on May 15th would be one of those miraculous moments. Unfortunately for Semmelweis, he would not be given the credit until several decades later.

aljazeera.com

What exactly was Semmelweis groundbreaking discovery? Well, it was simple really: wash your hands! During this modern age, doctors washing their hands between every patient is something we expect as a bare minimum. This is done to prevent the spread of infection. Thought at the time, in the 1850s, not much was known about the spread of bacteria and therefore the life-saving power of washing one’s hands was not acknowledged until much later.

It was Dr. Semmelweis that began to rhetorically tell his colleagues and fellow physicians to wash up, especially, before examining women about to give birth. And his plea was not just some words, for Semmelweis, it was a matter of life and death. You see during the 19th century it is about 5 in 1000 women died during childbirth delivered at home or by midwives. The shock is that the maternal death rate in the best maternity hospitals of Europe or America was often 10 to 20 times greater.

The cause was the spread of infection, it was caused by childbed fevers, this would cause raging infections in the birth canal which eventually caused the mother to die of sepsis in absolute hell of pain – all within 24 hours of the baby’s birth. Semmelweis figured out that the problem was doctors would first go see the patients suffering from fevers caused by childbirth, and then went on to see the mothers about to give birth – thus spreading the infection.

He enforced rules of washing hands in chlorinated lime solution, before seeing any new patients, this protocol caused the deaths in his obstetrics service to plummet. Unfortunately for Semmelweis, he was met with much resistance, many doctors were outraged that they were being blamed for the women’s death. This frustrated him to the point of a mental breakdown, and he was eventually put in a mental asylum.

Though praised today for pushing the boundaries of knowledge to save lives, at the time, the world was not ready for his discoveries.

Next Article
  • Cats Hired To Deliver Mail

    Over the centuries, humans have always looked for new ways to deliver messages. We started by running messages from one place to another, and then it was via non-stop horseback riding and at one point carrier pigeons were quite successful. In Alaska and Canada, there is a history of delivering mail by dog sleds. We...

    Read More
  • Monday NBA Action

    • After missing five straight games, Anthony Davis returned to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup in a matchup against the Boston Celtics. In the NBA’s oldest rivalry, the Celtics were able to cool off the red-hot Lakers in a 139-107 victory. Kemba Walker, who previously never beat LeBron James in an NBA game, scored 20...

    Read More
  • Entrepreneur Secretly Squats The AOL Headquarters

    One crafty entrepreneur decided to save some living costs while working on his startup, but simply squatting in the AOL headquarters. In 2012, Eric Simons spend a good few months living on the internet giant’s campus in Palo Alto in California. It was a pretty sweet deal, he would eat for free, enjoy gym access...

    Read More
  • Chiefs, 49ers To Play In Super Bowl

    On NFL Championship Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 and the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-20. The Titans entered the game as +7.5 underdogs to the AFC Championship Game host, the Chiefs. The Titans proceeded to take a 10-point lead in the first quarter. The week prior,...

    Read More
  • James Receives MVP Chants In Houston

    During the Los Angeles Lakers 124-115 win in Houston against the Rockets, LeBron James received MVP chants from the Houston crowd. NBA fans might recall that before James signed with the Lakers, one of the teams rumored to be in the running for the four-time MVP was the Rockets. At the time, the Rockets had...

    Read More
  • When Against A Raging Bushfire The Echidnas Will Simply Go To Sleep

    In the tinder-dry Australia which is currently so much on the news due to the huge bushfires raging the country, one animal has figured out a survival technique that has fascinated biologists for decades. Wildfire can tear through any sort of vegetation in minutes and grow at terrifying speeds, the fires incinerate nearly everything in...

    Read More
  • Kyrie Irving Complains About Nets

    After a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Kyrie Irving sounded off about the current situation of the Brooklyn Nets and offered his criticism of the team moving forward. The Nets are 18-22 and hanging on by a prayer to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. After the game, Irving commented and said the...

    Read More
  • Juggalo Makeup The Way To Block Facial Recognition

    If you need to walk through an airport while evading facial recognition cameras then the way to do it maybe by using Juggalo makeup. Though we do not think this is a great idea as you will probably be stopped by security anyways. Still, it is an interesting concept that certain styles of makeup make...

    Read More