Basic overview of medicine through time

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  • Created on: 12-06-11 09:23
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Key Points
Public Health
Small cities (less than 20000 people, less problems)
Better sewers, however some went directly into rivers
Good harvests
More food
Timber lined drains
More fresh water supplied from aqueducts ( channels dug in ground and
lined with clay) Water distributed by timber and lead pipes along main
streets before splitting off into side streets. Commissioners appointed to
check supplies. There were also fresh water fountains
Public baths where some water was collected and recycled. Water
provided by lead pipes from reservoirs. 500 people used baths a day.
Sometimes they had gyms. Used as social activity, Massage and
steam rooms available.
Houses were built near mills for health giving winds but some were near
swamps risking malaria
Houses were poorly designed ­ toilets in kitchens
Sewers built in bath houses
Drainage systems connected to houses
300 slaves cleaned sewers
Toilets not in cubicles
20 people seated at once
Socialising took place on the toilet
Hospitals had wards and operating theatres, offices, kitchens and baths
> more organised. 4 hard beds per ward, separation used.
Hospitals had their own water supplies
Soldiers benefited the most from Roman hospitals
Life expectancy between 35 and 45.
Rich people had central heating
Young children died
Sugary foods introduced > dental problems
Sewage pits dug near fresh water wells
Roman government collapsed replaced by tribal kingdoms
Black Death
Contaminated water
Insufficient supplies of water
Dirty and poor water quality
Animals slaughtered in the street
Human and animal excrement left
Undeveloped systems

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Limited effects of laws
Public toilets weren't always used
Shared toilets
Rich people had better health as they had their own baths and privies
Monks and nuns had good standards of hygiene
Town councils recognised the importance of public health
Major cities had fresh water supplies
People tried to clean streets
Governments made laws
Hospitals were mainly set up by the church (Christian duty to care for
the sick ­ CARE not treat)
Patients were positioned very close together in hospitals, increasing the
spread of…read more

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Population growth and shift
Better ships and transport
Sewers often ran into rivers where people accessed "clean water"
Clean water but not everyone has access to this. Some water is
Rats are a problem
Steam power
Fossil fuels
Animals spread germs
People in country have higher life expectancy, less pollution and
better water and food
Poor ventilation > breathing problems
Mid nineteenth century people were treated in cottage hospitals of
voluntary hospitals. Wealthy people would receive treatments at
home.…read more

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Infant mortality decreases ­ health visitors, medical checks, meals
provided, regulations etc
NHS set up by Bevan in 1948 after Beveridge's report in 1942
Government campaigns
Better disposal of sewage etc
1956 clean air act
1990 food safety laws
1971 cigarette warnings
Lifestyle diseases e.g. cancer and heart problems
Key developments and individual works
Papyrus developed > Ideas preserved
Exchanged ideas with other doctors throughout Greece >
communication.…read more

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Edwin Chadwick produces a report on living conditions and health
of the poor people in the countryside or towns. Concludes that poverty
and ill health is caused by foul living conditions and the best way to
reduce cost of ratepayer is to improve public health. Recommends
drainage, collection and water supplies should be government priorities
and that medical officers should be appointed in various areas to check
improvements are being made.…read more

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General beliefs and causes of disease
It was thought that evil spirits caused disease ­ trephenning was used
They believed in that Asclepius was the God of healing
Believed in deities ­ Diana of childbirth, Salus of health and fertility.
Aesculapius of medicine and babies.…read more

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Greek surgeons could set bones or amputate on a basic level.
Sometimes they drained lungs of those with pneumonia
War meant they developed extremely basic antiseptics to wash wounds
Philosophical approach, more interested in theories than practical
Few doctors in Roman Britain ­ on the edge of the empire
Human dissection inappropriate
No formal training needed
No regulation of doctors
Doctors not respected
Basic amputations > gangrene
Surgeons were youthful, had strong, steady hands and were
ambidextrous. Clear vision.…read more

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There were licensed healers such as physicians and apothecaries,
surgeons and midwives
There were unlicensed healers such as family members, wise women,
travelling quacks and housewife physicians
Purer glass enables better microscopes for Pasteur and Koch
Industrial processes made work easier for Koch ­ new dyes etc
Thermometers and stethoscopes stereoscopes invented
Doctors attended lectures
Doctors had good communication
Doctors were aware of link between microorganisms and disease
Better syringes
Could prevent infection but not cure (antibiotics were needed)
Blood…read more

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Soup, unripe grapes, mince meat, cooled water, rosewater in the eyes,
and gargling mouth with pomegranate juice for smallpox and measles
Seeds of skullcap used for headaches
Lentils, sumach, drachums and roses used for inflammation
Touch used to cure skin diseases,
Urine charts used
Medicines developed
Blood letting, vomiting and purging still used
Black death treatments ­ potions to guard against infection, natural
remedies EG flowers and eggs, candles offered to God,
processions, lighting fires inside on rainy days, avoid baths, inhale
Great…read more

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Women could not go to university and therefore could not train as
Some women understood medicine but considered as wise and
accused of being witches
Could be midwifes
Treated family members within the homes
Women were allowed as nurses in hospitals, had to be over 50 so as not
to distract patients from their prayers
Women still could not study at university
Male surgeons were better educated so this excluded women from
Women did not know Latin or Greek also…read more


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