GCSE History - Medicine Timeline

A Timeline of the Medicine Through Time syllabus. From Prehistoric - 20th Century. Includes key dates, events and discoveries

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Treatments: Injuries/illnesses:
-Made charms to ward off evil spirits -Broken limbs (mud casts)
-Mud casts for broken limbs -Headaches (Trephining)
-Herbal remedies made from plants/herbs and -Soar throats/Cuts etc. (herbal remedies)
honey -Fevers
-Trephining to release evil spirits -Wounds
-Sweat lodges for pain/fevers
Why people died:
Who treated the ill:
-Those who were ill were left behind because the tribe has to keep
-The medicine man (who could "communicate" with moving to keep up with the herd (for food) - starvation
the Gods) -People did not survive from Trephining
-Women (made home remedies) -Many died from gangrene (infected open wounds)
-Polluted water supplies (by animals)
-Severe bleeding and blood loss (hunting/war wounds)
Hunter-gatherers (19-25)
-Fever (very common)
Farmers(20-27)…read more

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-Blocked Channels (natural theory), people stayed
-Simple Surgery (cutting out swellings, sewing healthy as long as blood, air and water flowed through
up wounds, trephining to ease pain)
the channels around the body (undigested food would
-Herbal remedies made from plants/herbs cause blockage)
honey and trading ingredients (e.g cinnamon)
-Gods and spirits caused diseases
-Charms, Prayers and Chants
Factors Helping and Hindering:
-Discovered and developed writing
-War allowed doctors to discover organs from wounded and
-Found many organs in the body (although did not know injured soldiers ­ improved knowledge of anatomy
-Religion prevented dissection (believed that the body is needed
-Bronze surgical instruments (developed metal working skills) for afterlife so should be preserved)
-Purging -However Religion encouraged cleanliness so you're respectful
and stay at peace with the gods.
Specialist Doctors ­ e.g eye diseases and stomach or
rectum etc
General Doctors
Priests…read more

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-Prayers Theories:
-Herbal remedies from minerals and animal parts -4 humours
-Rest, diet, exercise (Asclepia) -Gods and spirits caused diseases
-Purging and Bleeding
-Opium, Alcohol and Wine to stop infections
-Aristotle's work on the importance of
the heart
Public Health: -Discoveries at Alexandria about the
-Doctors emphasises the value of good brain and the heart
cleanliness Healers:
-People took care of themselves -Priests at Asclepia
-A few toilets were maid -Priests at the temple
-Specialist doctors…read more

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Discoveries about the body: Public Health:
-Doctors knew about Greek and Roman discoveries but made -Hard to keep towns clean because it was full of animals and
none of their own and dissection was only carried out to illustratehouses were overcrowded
what Galen had said
-The government and the King did not do anything to improve
public health, they believed that their role was to protect the
country and keep order
-Epidemic diseases (plague) could not be stopped
Treatments: Ideas about the causes of illness:
-Simple Surgery on visible tumours and wounds -No change, they still believed it was caused by God, and they
still followed Hippocrates' theory of unbalanced humours
-But came up with a natural theory that `miasma' caused disease
-Opium Plants to dull pain
-Some minority groups were blamed such as Jews
-Surgeons used wine, vinegar and honey to clean wounds but
could not prevent heavy bleeding or infections
-Prayers and Charms
-Herbal remedies
-Rest, diet, exercise
-Purging and Bleeding…read more

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-Rest, diet and exercise
-Paré, Harvey, Vesalius theories were learnt but was not fully
-Herbal remedies made from plants/herbs honey and accepted till later on
new trading ingredients from abroad. Successful
remedies were written down and passed from mother -Galen and Hippocrates' theory of humours were learnt and
to daughter essential to them. Still a very heavy influence. Also Ibn Sina
-Smoking (tobacco used to cure toothaches, joint pains, -Believed that God sent the plague on them so they prayed often.
wounds and against the black plague) But had a natural theory that miasma caused Black plague so fires
were often lit in the streets
-Purging, continued to believe illness was due to
unbalanced humours
Birth of Enquiry
Developments: Public Health:
-Invention of the microscope in the 1600s -After the first plague (1348), it didn't completely disappear and
allowed scientists for the first time to see government did not issue any orders to clean the towns which
tiny organisms but no one connected this were overcrowded and dirty
to disease
-After the second plague (1665), houses were ordered to sweep
the street outside their door and animals were not to be kept in
the city. It only helped a little…read more

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