The Renaissance

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Renaissance and Reformation

The Renaissance brought a sharper focus on the classics.

  • Embracing close study of classical texts
  • Medicine- greater interest in human anatomy- based on observation & dissection
  • Return of original Greek texts- Hippocrates & Galen- renewed faith in four humours & treatment by opposites
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Public Health, War & the Plague of London

Public health was made worse by war.

  • Religious differences led to many wars
  • Population increase- towns & cities- strain on clean water supplies & sewage disposal systems
  • Warfare- used up resources, destroyed crops & trapped people in beseiged towns- not enough food
  • Starvation, Typhoid, plague & STIs followed armies around the continent
  • Pressure on parishes- homelessness & disabled by war
  • Naval power & science of navagtion- improved world wide communication
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Plague of London

The Great Plague hit London in 1665.

  • Black death- 100,000 dead- many fled
  • Control- Afflicted houses- locked in and red crosses were put on doors
  • Realised disease was contagious- didn't understand about germs
  • The Great Fire of London 1666- steralised large parts of London- killed Plague
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Printing and Anatomy Books

Printing- one of the greatest inventions of all time.

  • Johann Gutenburg- introduced printing to Europe- 1454
  • Accelerated rate of progress in medicine- easier- spread of ideas & debate
  • William Caxton- set up first British printing press- 1476- Westminister Abbey
  • Before-copy book by hand- books rare & precious- ideas thouroughly accepted
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Anatomy books

Vesalius wrote anatomy books with accurate diagrams.

  • Allow to perform dissections- but not boil bodies for skeletons
  • Became professor of surgery & anatomy at Pauda
  • Performed own dissections & recorded observations with accurate diagrams
  • The Fabric of the Human Body 1543
  • Pointed out Galen's mistakes
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Pare was forced to improvise.

  • Baber surgeon- worked for public hospital, then became army surgeon
  • At time- blood vessels (amputation) were sealed by cauterising the wound with a hot iron- discomfort & stressed patient
  • Invented the ligature (tying off vessels with threads) & designed artificial legs
  • Gunshot woulds- infection- people thought they were poisned by gunpower- pour hot oil into the wound or use hot iron. One battle- pare ran out of oil- used cool salve- patient did better
  • Became surgeon to King of France
  • Ideas were resisted by doctors- Kings support gained him acceptance
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Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood.

  • Studied medicine & anatomy at Pauda
  • Became doctor & lecturer in London (Royal college of Surgeons) & then Royal Physician to James l and Charles l 
  • Did comparitive studies on animas & humans- observe living animals heart & apply to humans
  • Galen- thought blood formed, carried to tissues, then consumes- Harvey proved this was wrong- realised blood circulates
  • Identified difference between arteries & veins & that blood changes colour when it passes through the lungs
  • Important & turning point in anatomy- but didn't radically change practice of surgery
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