(Original post by seedialss)
Hey, just saw some of your amazing answers and was wondering if you could help me out? I’m doing the same papers as you and just need to know what are the key topics/key people for the 19/20th
century medicine because I’m not sure what to focus on. thanks :-)
So 19th/20th century is around the 1750-1900 mark of the course. This is in chronological order btw
So 1750 starts off with Galen not being read. Few reasons why:
Microscope meant that Harveys ideas could be proved right, people realised the 'All-mighty' Galen is wrong
4 humors stopped being accepted as more 'innovative' ideas were being believed (Miasma etc)
Dissection was allowed to Galens books were futile.
Lady Montagu brought inoculation into the UK. Inoculation is basically cutting open a vein and putting pus from a sufferer of whatever disease (e.g smallpox.) This is essentially the botched version of vaccination (more on that in a bit) Basically people died as the vein is being butchered and sometimes the pus taken is actually a really strong strain or whatever scientific nonsense and people fully contracted the illness.
Edward Jenner, country doctor who recognised that milk-maids didnt get smallpox - instead they contracted cowpox. Using this analogy he committed child abuse (not really but whatever) and tried it on a boy called James Phipps. He stuffed James full of cow pox pus, he caught a mild infection, beat the illness and he was sweet. Then Jenner abused him some more and filled him up with pus from a smallpox victim. He survived and vaccination was invented. (nerdy fact: Vaccination comes from the Latin word for cow "Vacca"
People opposed Jenner because:
Inoculators would lose money and everyone cared more about money than health xd
People thought if they injected pieces of animal into them THEY WOULD TURN INTO A COW?????? (you might have seen the cartoon called "the cow pock" - If you quote this in an answer about Jenner the examiner is likely to be rather impressed.
He was a country doctor who couldnt actually scientifically prove his ideas. Scientists laughed at his idea of vaccination. Jokes on them though, smallpox vaccination became compulsory in 1853!
Florence nightingale - she made massive improvements to ward hygiene which, in turn, decreased the death rate.
Mary Seacole - Nursed soldiers to health and built the 'British hotel.' Nightingale is the most widely known nurse and is thought to be the 'Mother of modern nusing' but this easily could have been Mary Seacole. It was only due to ethnic prejudice that she didnt get as much recognition.
Pasteur - Many scientists thought microbes caused disease - Spontaneous generation. Others believed in miasmas. Pasteur was employed in 1857 to find an explanation for souring sugar beet in the alcohol industry. He blamed germs in the air. He did the famous swan-neck experiment which proved that germs in the air caused disease.
Kock - Linked diseases to the microbe that caused that specific disease. He identified anthrax spores and the bacteria that caused cholera, tb and septicemia.
Problems with surgery
Pain was overcome by anesthetics. First was Humphry Davy and laughing gas, then R. Liston with Ether and finally Chloroform by James Simpson.
Laughing gas didnt actually knock patients out = useless
Ether = Wasnt a very pleasant smelling chemical and was explosive. No electricity = open flame. Open flame + ether = boom
Chloroform = Effective but because of the taboo associated with anesthesia people held their breath while the chloroformed rag was up to their nose/mouths. Once they had to breathe they took a huge breath and inhaled hellaaaa chloroform. They overdosed and died. This was fixed by John Snows chloroform inhaler and dosage list.
Opposition to anesthesia
Uncomfortable, doctors liked the patients being in pain as they screamed. Screaming = Alive!
But queen victoria used chloroform for her 8th child. Her 8th child Prince Leopold carried on to passively kill millions. Thanks, chloroform.
Joseph lister recognised that raw sewage smelt like gangrene. This sewage was sprayed with carbolic spray. He did the same in the operating theatre and it essentially started antiseptic surgery. But it slowed down surgery, cracked the skin of doctors and germ theory wasnt widely accepted in 1857.
In 1890s aseptic surgery was introduced which was the removal of all germs in theatres. Then surgical instruments became steam sterilised, hospitals were cleaned and rubber gloves became of use!
After Harveys discovery of blood, transfusions where attempted. They ended in disaster because they didnt know how to stop clotting and blood groups hadnt been discovered. This changed in 1901 when landsteiner discovered blood groups (only 3/4 of them tho) and during the world wars sodium citrate was used to stop clotting, refrigeration was used to transport blood and plasma packs were invented to increase the volume of blood.
Industrialism was a massive problem. Conditions of British towns became worse than ever. Houses were build as close together as possible. Disease was rampant and many died from diseases like cholera.
The easiest way to understand the public health side of things is to understand the full timeline:
1831: Cholera arrives in Sunderland.
1832: Cholera hits london
1842: Chadwicks report
1845: Andover workhouse scandal. Workhouse workers were discovered to be so hungry and malnourished they ATE bone marrow from bones.
1848: 1st public health act
1853: Crimean war
1854: John snows water pump discovery
1858: Great stink
1867: 2nd reform act - working class men could vote.
1875: Second public health act
1875: Artisans dwelling act
1876: River pollutions act
1899-1901: Boer war
1906: Social liberal reforms
1907: School meals act
1908: Old age pension act
1911: National insurance
1948: NHS established
I hope this helped! I was evidently bored and this took my mind off the looming exams. Good luck in your exams!