History- Medicine (How did individuals impact medicine and surgery?) 2

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  • People who made a change in Medicine
    • Hunter
      • Hunter was a pioneer in surgery, but he had developed his skills by using bodies that were legitimately obtained from executions, and also illegally from grave-robbing
        • This made him unpopular with members of the public. He founded a museum to display his work to the public
    • Pasteur
      • Pasteur's most important work was the discovery of food pasteurization (sterilization) and the development of vaccines
        • Using his new germ theory Pasteur found the bacterium that caused anthrax (a disease that usually attacks domestic animals like cattle, but can also harm humans)
        • He discovered that these germs could live in dead animal tissues and move through the air as spores (a small, single-cell reproductive organ often found in plants)
        • By properly sterilizing areas of infection, Pasteur showed how diseases could be stopped
        • Having worked on bacterial diseases, Pasteur then attacked the problem of rabies
          • In 1882, he discovered that rabies was caused by a very small germ, smaller than bacteria. Pasteur then developed a vaccine for rabies that worked both for animals and for humans
        • Pasteur proved through many experiments that germs always came from other germs.  Pasteur used heat to kill the germ microbes
          • The process he used, called 'pasteurization was named for him
    • Koch
      • Koch's  research helped prove Pasteur's theory that germs caused diseases. He helped found causes of diseases such as cholera + TB
        • One of Koch's early projects was to discover the cause of anthrax (deadly disease of cattle and sheep). Koch showed that, under certain conditions, the anthrax bacteria formed spores that could remain dormant for several years.
          • Koch's publication of his work with the anthrax bacteria helped prove that Pasteur was right. These spores remained in infected fields and could develop into the disease-causing anthrax bacillus if conditions were right
    • Lister
      • Lister developed antiseptic surgery, saving patients from the dreadful pain and death of post-surgical infection by ensuring that surgical wounds were sterile
        • After reading some of Pasteur's findings, Lister concluded that the germs described by Pasteur as being carried in the air caused wound infections
          • As a result, Lister developed a method to destroy these organisms using carbolic acid as an antiseptic
    • Fleming
      • Because of Fleming's discovery, many previously incurable diseases are now easily treated, and the average human life span has been significantly increased
      • Fleming was one of three men who discovered and developed the first antibiotic, penicillin
    • Simpson
      • Simpson discovered  chloroform in 1847 which greatly improved the success rate of surgery
        • Queen Victoria accepted the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic during the delivery of her eighth child
  • By the late nineteenth century, researchers such as Pasteur had put forth the germ theory of disease, but no one had been able to prove that microorganism were responsible for a given disease
    • Koch's publication of his work with the anthrax bacteria helped prove that Pasteur was right. These spores remained in infected fields and could develop into the disease-causing anthrax bacillus if conditions were right
    • Koch's  research helped prove Pasteur's theory that germs caused diseases. He helped found causes of diseases such as cholera + TB
      • One of Koch's early projects was to discover the cause of anthrax (deadly disease of cattle and sheep). Koch showed that, under certain conditions, the anthrax bacteria formed spores that could remain dormant for several years.

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