History today in medicine*


A Tribute to the Physician Who Discovered the Benefits of Handwashing

Dr.Ignaz Semmelweis

July 1,1818 - August 13, 1865

💠Hungerian Obstetrician

💠Father of Infection Control

His contributions…

🔸Semmelweis studied medicine in Vienna and got his MD graduation in 1844.

🔸After his studies, he joined to work as an Assistant to the Professor in the maternity clinic at Vienna General Hospital.

🔸While working, he had noticed that many women in maternity ward were dying from puerperal fever which was generally called as Childbed Fever.

🔸He further observed that the women who delivered by physicians and medical students had a high rate of puerperal fever than the women delivered by midwives.

🔸Subsequently, he did a Case-control analysis and concluded that the high rate of infection seen among women delivered by physicians and medical students was due to simultaneous handling of corpses during autopsies and attending the pregnant women. Whereas the midwives were not doing as such.

🔸Therefore, he pioneered Antiseptic procedures, which was emphasizing the compulsory handwashing policy with chlorinated lime solutions before examining the women in labour.

🔸As a result, he drastically reduced the incidence of fatal puerperal sepsis and the death rate of women as well.

🔸However, his statement on cleanliness was largely ignored and rejected. Ultimately, he was criticized for his work and also got dismissed from hospital. Hence he felt dejected and became mentally ill. Then he got admitted in mental asylum and unfortunately died in 14 days.

🔸His landmark discovery during 1850s was not accepted by medical profession. Whereas the same had earned wide spread acceptance after Louis Pasteur’s Germ Theory of Diseases in 1860s.

🔸Eventually, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis had recognized as “The Father of Hand Hygiene” and really saved the lives by three effective words “Wash Your Hands.”

A Day to Commemorate…

The Physician Who emphasized Hand Washing and Saved Lives

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis 🙏🏼