Medicine through time

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Hippocrates

Founded the theory of the four humours - natural theory

Wrote many books

Introduced clinical observation

Believed in natural causes of ill health

Introduced Hippocratic Oath - still taken by doctors today

Advised patients on diet, rest and exercise.

Still regarded as " The father of modern medicine". 

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Claudius Galen

The theory of opposites based on Hippocrates four humours. Rebalancing humours.

Roman Medicine.

Wrote 60 books

Believed in natural causes of ill health and natural treatments

Continued practice of clinical observation

Carried out public animal dissections.

He got many things wrong but made some progress in anatomy. 

Religion stopped him from dissecting the human body.

His discoveries were the basis for medicine for over 1500 years.

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Andreas Vesalius

Part of the medical renaissance

Proved Galen wrong

Performed human dissections

Proved the human jawbone is one piece not two

No holes in the septum

The breastbone is made up of 3 parts not 7

The liver has no lobes.

He made no progress in medical treatment, just anatomy.

Published The Fabric of the Human Body. It was the first fully illustrated book on anatomy.

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Ambroise Paré

Part of the medical renaissance

Disproved the bezoar stone

Founded a new way of treating wounds.

Used his own ointment instead of burning oil.

Used ointment by chance as he ran out of oil.

Ointment was a lot more effective in healing wounds.

Re-introduced ligatures in arteries

He made some progress in treatments.

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William Harvey

Part of the medical renaissance

His theory was the heart pumped blood around the body in one direction only. 

He pumped water through a heart to prove this.

He proved the liver does not manufacture blood.

He did not make any further progress in medical treatments

He made progress in anatomy

 

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Edward Jenner

Part of the growth of modern medicine.

Created a vaccination for smallpox

As a result of his work, vaccinations were made compulsory in 1852 in Britain.

Discovered having cowpox prevented smallpox. Tested his vaccination many times, first on a young boy called James Phipps. 

People were initially suspicious because he couldn't explain why his vaccination worked.

Royal society eventually listened.

However, his discovery could only prevent smallpox. There was no cure.

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Louis Pasteur

He was a French chemist

Using a new microscope, he discovered micro-organisms were making the alcohol go sour. He called these germs.

He discovered that if any liquid was heated, the germs were killed. This process was called pasteurisation. 

He went on to prove that these germs caused disease in animals and humans.

He published his germ theory of disease in 1861. 

He was a scientist not a doctor so his discoveries were left to others to pick up where he left off.

He developed a successful vaccine for anthrax. He used Koch's methods to develop this vaccine. He also developed a successful vaccine for rabies.

Disproved the theory of spontaneous generation.

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Robert Koch

He was a German doctor who studied Pasteur's germ theory.

He developed a new way of studying bacteria. He grew them in dishes of agar jelly.

This provided food for the microbes as well as a stable surface which could be studided under a microscope.

He also dyed the microbes to be able to see them.

As a result of this, he discovered the microbes that caused anthrax in sheep and later the microbes that caused tuberculosis and cholera. 

Koch's work was picked up by other teams of scientists.They had isolated the microbes for six deadly diseases by the end of the nineteenth century. 

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Alexander Fleming

He was a Scottish bacteriologist

In 1928, Fleming discovered the antibiotic penicillin by chance.

He noticed that a mould had developed accidentally on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. 

The mould had created a bacteria free circle around itself. 

He named the active substance penicillin.

He published a paper on his discovery. 

Fleming did not develop penicillin as a drug. He only discovered it.

Florey and chain picked up where he left off. 

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Howard Florey and Ernst Chain

They worked together at Oxford University during the Second World War and turned their department at Oxford into a penicillin factory to mass produce it.

In 1940 they had just enough penicillin to test it on mice.

Trials of penicillin were held at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941 and they were successful.

They could prove that penicillin killed infection however, British drug companies would not produce it so Florey approached American drug companies and had it mass produced there. 

Alexander Fleming took all of the credit for penicillin however all three of them recieved the nobel prize in 1945.

Norman Heatley also contributed to the production. He developed the back extraction technique for efficiently purifying penicillin in bulk.

"Without Fleming, no Chain; without Chain, no Florey; without Florey, no Heatley; without Heatley, no penicillin."

 

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Florence Nightingale

She was expected to marry and never work as she came from a rich background. However, She believed God wanted her to be a nurse and help people. 

Her parents disapproved because nursing was not seen as a respectable profession. Nurses were untrained and unprofessional. 

In 1851 Florence went to a nursing school. She later worked in a hospital.

When the Crimean war broke out,she was approached and asked to lead a team of nurses to Constantinople. Her team worked out Scutari Hospital.

Once she witnessed the unhygienic conditions, she ordered her team to begin cleaning. They cut the death rate from 50% to 2%. 

Her success was widely reported in the press, so people gave money to help her open the first school for nursing in Britain in 1861. 

Nursing became increasingly professional, and the role of nurses was valued highly in hospitals. 

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Mary Seacole

She was born in Jamaica. Her father was Scottish and her mother was Jamaican. Her mother was a doctress.

She applied to be on Florence Nightingale's team of nurses to go to the Crimea.. She was turned down by the British Government.

Paid for herself to go to to Crimea. She set up her "British Hotel" in the Crimea. The hotel offered medical tretment, food and drink. It was also a place of rest for soldiers.

Mary Seacole healed the wounded on the battlefield. She had hands-on experience that Florence Nightingale didn't. Her beliefs were to just treat the wounded, no matter what. 

Mary Seacole showed bravery and zero hesitance.

Unfortunately, after leaving Crimea she became bankrupt. Some people did some fundraising for her however, she did not recieve the same recognition as Florence Nightingale.

She wrote an Autobiography and was forgotten by history until recently.

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James Simpson

He helped to solve the problem of pain during nineteenth century surgery.

He discovered Chloroform while at a party with his friends. 

Ether was previously used as an anaesthetic however, it caused unpleasant side effects. Simpson discovered Chloroform did not have these unpleasant side effects. 

Within a month he had used Chloroform sucessfully on over 50 patients. 

However, some doctors did not understand how to use it safely and many patients died of an overdose. There were also sudden unexplained deaths from Chloroform. 

James Simpson did solve the problem partly but many doctors decided not to use it because of the unexpected and unexplained deaths of patients. 

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Joseph Lister

Following the development of anaesthetics, deaths from surgery increased. This was because more complex operations could be carried out leading to a quicker spread of infection.

Joseph Lister discovered that carbolic acid reduced infection. He developed the first effective antiseptics and helped solve the problem of infection.

Lister was a surgeon. He had always wondered what caused infection, and read about Pasteur's germ theory soon after it was published in 1861. 

He got his idea from sewers. Carbolic acid was used to kill parasites at sewage works,so he decided to try it out on the microbes causing infection.

He discovered it worked so he started washing his equipment and hands in carbolic acid. He also used carbolic spray to kill infection in the air surrounding the patient.  As a result of this, the death rate following operations fell dramatically. 

By the 1890s antiseptic surgery was common. This eventually developed into aseptic surgery, where germs were removed from the operating theatre, rather than the wound.

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Edwin Chadwick

Edwin Chadwick was a civil servant. He worked for the Poor Law Commission in the 1830s/40s. He became a member of the National Board of Health set up in 1848. 

He wrote a "Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population" in 1842. 

This said that the poor lived in terrible conditions which made them ill, and the rich should pay higher taxes to help the poor. He pushed the government to pass the 1848 Public Health Act after a cholera epidemic.

Although the first Public Health Act was not compulsory and didn't achieve much, there wouldn't have been the Second Public Health Act without his work. 

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John Snow

John Snow was a doctor and surgeon. He theorised in 1849 that cholera was spread by water, not air but people did not believe him. 

He was also interested in public health. Cholera spread to Britain from India via trading routes. Most people thought that cholera was caused by bad smells. 

In 1854, in order to prove his theory, Snow plotted deaths from a cholera epidemic in Soho, London onto a map.

He realised that the outbreak was centred around a water pump in Broad Street. Workers at a brewery nearby were safe because the brewery had its own water supply.

It was later discovered that the water pump supply was being contaminated by sewage.

5 victims did not live near the pump so Snow investigated their deaths. It turned out they travelled to Broad Street because they preferred the flavour of the water!

As a result of his important discovery the pump was shut down. His discovery prompted the government to introduce the Second Public Health Act. 

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Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree

Booth and Rowntree were both philanthropists and social reformers. They carried out surveys in London and York during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Booth popularised the idea of a "poverty line". This was a concept that if you earned less than 21 shillings a week you were living below the poverty line. Booth discovered that up to 30% of the population of London were living on or below the poverty line. Rowntree made a similar discovery in York. 

Charles Booth published a report in 1889 to show his findings. It was called " Life and Labour of the people".

Seebohm Rowntree also published his findings in many reports. 

They both argued that people could not pull themselves out of poverty by their own actions alone. Booth and Rowntree both identified the main causes of poverty as being illness, unemployment and age.

It began to be recognised that the government had a role to play. Their work contributed greatly to the introduction of the Second Public Health Act and many other political and social reforms.

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