He eliminated climate as a cause because the climate was the same. Semmelweis immediately proposed a connection between cadaveric contamination and puerperal fever. This explained why the student midwives in the Second Clinic, who were not engaged in autopsies and had no contact with corpses, saw a much lower mortality rate. The germ theory of disease had not yet been accepted in Vienna. Thus, Semmelweis concluded some unknown "cadaverous material" caused childbed fever.
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Boyer Jan 6, UTC It seems all the last six or so changes have aimed at giving more credit to Semmelweis and telling more of his story, but if you know something additional about his involuntary confinement, please add it. I had always thought that frustration at bucking the medical establishment was the cause of his breakdown, but please correct me, because it makes a horrible and tragic story even more horrible, tragic, and instructive.
Frederico Di Trocchiio covered Semmelweis quite extensively in his book "Il genio incompresso" see also his book "the big swindle". He writes that Semmelweis was already infected i. Frank A Did that suggest a toxic psychosis? It was to protect society from a man who was clearly insane by the values of that society.
Gentlemen could not be the source of infection as there was no concept of infection. What was important was that the values of society, the idea that there were correct, proper people who were superior for reasons of birth and station and there were inferiors who did not matter. That his pursuit of an idea which threatened the entire structure of civilization caused stress which brought a typically fragile because it was aware personality was not something any stabile society of the time could either imagine or tolerate.
I think you wrote it a bit too quickly. Gustave G. Due to the medical implications, I am restricting edit-access to registered users, since re-verification has been tedious for several users during the past 3 months. As always, other users can request unprotecting the article to add medical updates. Requests for page protection are made at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. In the meantime I will remove the redundant and ineffective protection template. AND ". Puerperal States and Diseases, , AND "We conceive it unnecessary to go into detail to prove the contagious nature of this disease, as there are few, if any, American practitioners who do not believe in this doctrine.
Lee, in Additions to Article last cited. It would seem that people who portray Semmelweis as a discoverer are arriving very late on the scene? It seems it is just his attitude that makes him a story. Check out Oliver Wendell Holmes on the same subject, in Unnecessary deaths plus people "stuck on stupid" make any story notable: compare Vietnam troops died every day plus "what part of violence-begets-violence do you fail to understand?
You can bet that many doctors took that sickening revelation to their graves. On balance, the story is classic tragedy: the abrasive hero fights the grand-standing opponents in Vienna, while thousands die in the shadows, then the hero dies young, and only after his death is he avenged by the truth, which reveals his opponents to the world as murdering fools.
Wikid77 , 28 March UTC Pay attention to detail: By the end of when the work of Semmelweis began to spread around Europe, James Young Simpson, a prominent British obstetrician, claimed that, in recognizing the danger of contagion, Semmelweis had only discovered what the British had recognized years earlier.
Carter and Carter, Childbed fever Also, if the British claim were valid, why were they not the first to report astonishing reductions in mortality rates? This line seems like it may have been extracted from the above paragraphs but maybe in too concentrated form.
If there was a contemporaneous British school of cleanliness, I think it needs to be better introduced in the article. Based on his writings alone, he should get plenty of credit for new understanding and ideas, not only for his experiments and trials. For example, he talks clearly not only about decaying matter causing sepsis, but notes a case in which a patient with a knee infection caused cases of childbed fever on the ward.
He knew that all septic wounds were suspect. Moreover, he new very well the difference between handwashing with chlorine products and simple soap: he was no fanatic, and says that soap is adequate when examining patients, as a wash BETWEEN examining healthy patients, but that the chlorine treatment is necessary after coming into contact with wounds, cases of sepsis, or autopsy material, before going on to examine healthy patients.
He must have discovered some of these things by inferrence, since not all of them come from identifiable trials. But he was dead-on right about much that he said. No wonder his colleagues balked, especially as chlorine can be irritating. And nobody likes to be called stupid. The evidence can be very clear, but without a good "mechanism" or "story", many people will refuse to "see" it. S B H arris , 9 June UTC It seems to me that the opposition of the other doctors may have been based on motives other that simply being "stuck on stupid".
If Semelweis was right, doctors could have been accused of causing the deaths in the maternity ward -- and if he was tactless in making the suggestion, they could have thought they were being accused of murder, or at least involuntarily manslaughter.
I corrected the 19 misspellings of "Semmelweis" 3rd time in 6 months , and re-added the original portrait image of the Austrian postage stamp.
Ignaz Semmelweis portrait : advised handwashing with a chlorinated-lime solution in File:I Semmelweis. The 2 portraits are long-term images in Wikimedia Commons, and are shown here for confirmation that they still exist as named. The name "Semmelweis" was misspelled in the Britannica with "ss" as "-weiss" and every few months, people have changed the article to use the incorrect "ss" spelling. I need to add a footnote that the spelling is "-weis" to deter future re-spellings.
He was a pioneer in this, and his statistics have been recrunched by modern mathemeticians google for instance Broemeling, L. A statistical analysis years later. Anderson Cancer Center. In his publication he applies time series, he groups data and computes averages for the groups.
This is application of descriptive statistical methods, perhaps advanced at the time, but it would be presumptious to say that he applied statistical methods in the contemporary meaning of this concept. With the benefit of hindsight we identify obvious trends in the data, but at the time, mortality rates were fluctuating wildly and unexplicably, see Historical mortality rates of puerperal fever for some actual data series.
The text is unreferenced, and there are several inconsistenties with my sources - both problems plagued the article before I revised it. Most of the info may well be entirely correct, I just dont know which parts are, and which are not. He received his elementary education at the Catholic Gymnasium of Buda, then completed his schooling at the University of Pest from to Apparently without parental opposition, he enrolled in the medical school instead. Semmelweis returned to Pest after his first year and continued his studies at the local university from - However, displeased by the backward conditions at Pest University, he moved to the Second Vienna Medical School in The latter school combined laboratory and bedside medicine and became one of the most prominent centers of medicine for the next century.
Semmelweis completed his botanically -oriented dissertation early in and remained in Vienna after graduation to repeat a two-month course in practical midwifery. He received a Magister degree in the subject. He also completed some surgical training and spent almost fifteen months October - February with Skoda learning diagnostic and statistical methods. In the midth century it was common for a doctor to move directly from one patient to the next without washing his hands, or to move from performing an autopsy on a diseased body to examining a living person.
Semmelweis hypothesized that "particles" introduced into the women caused puerperal fever, and that these particles were spread on the hands of the doctors and students. Semmelweis ordered that hands be washed in a chlorine solution before each examination. Mortality rates among women attended by doctors and medical students quickly dropped from He influenced Joseph Lister but years passed before the importance of disinfection was widely appreciated.
High resolution images needed[ edit ] Professors at the medical faculty, University of Pest, Semmelweis standing, arms crossed. It is it possibly from this book - Gortvay, G. I think it is a great image and, in general, that the article would benefit from high resolution images, including this one.
If anybody has access to this book, could they confirm this info, and possibly upload this and hopefylly other images in a higher resolution. Stirrer talk , 28 May UTC Cause of death[ edit ] I read in other parts that the cause of dead was that, after he was discharged from the asylum, he used an scalpel to make an injury to himself after open a corpse with it. I think that this must be checked and then change the article in a suitable way.
Kinai2k7 talk , 30 July UTC Yes, I thought that he died of an infection picked up from a patient but i am not sure of the exact details. Gustav Scheuthauer at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus, "a wound of the middle finger of the right hand, said to have been sustained during a recent gynecological operation, had become septic, with the infection spreading through the bloodstream and causing, among other manifestations, a large collection of pus to accumulate in the chest.
However, some modern pathologists such as Sherwin Nuland say that the autopsy records which still exist show that it is much more likely that Semmelweis died from the severe beating the asylum guards gave him, and that the pus and infection in his chest were probably caused by a guard stomping heavily on his chest as he lay on the ground.
Possibly Scheuthauer was deliberately giving the wrong conclusion in his report; possibly he was pressured to do so by the authorities. I uploaded the best possible copy of the autopsy report, but I consider it close to illegible. As I remember, Benedek discusses some of the findings, but a transscription is not provided inthe German translation , and I have not seen transscriptions of the original text in Latin, I believe either.
I you have some of this, please provide, either to the autopsy report page in Commons, or upload to Wikisource. I have not read the Sherwin Nuland book. Carter refers to Nuland and questions, inter alia, how Nuland could possibly write on the subject without any quotiations from the original Aetiology. Do you have any comments on the quality of the Nuland reference? Thanks, Power.
The summary of this hospital course is so riddled with inconsistencies, obvious errors, and suspect alterations that it must be considered unreliable Injuries to the left hand, four fingers of the right hand, both arms, and the chest are so suggestive that no other conclusion is tenable.
The injury to the left chest in particular leaves an observer with the conclusion that [Semmelweis] was stomped as he lay on the ground. It consists of an abscess, visible on first inspecting the corpse as "discolored green skin", under which bulged "a half-sphere swelling" On cutting into the body, the large bulging protuberance was found to be caused by an extensive collection of "yellow-green pus Nuland believes him to have been of solely German ancestry, while Horton believes that he may have been of Jewish extraction, and that this may have contributed to his treatment at the hands of the European medical establishment.
Both are clearly pedigreed and respected scholars. Or is that too leading towards the "Jewish Semmelweis" side of the argument? In that review, Horton says baldly, "Semmelweis was the fourth son of a successful Jewish grocer. The message in what I have read is that Semmelweis simply ran foul of politics, as Hungarian born, he became a victim of Austrian xenophobia at a time when the Austrian empire was falling apart, and he may not have had so-called "social skills".
Add to this, an extremely bitter academic confict. Carl Mayrhofer was also kicked out, no mention of anti-Jewish sentiment there either. If you can find factual and verified info on ethnicity, add it to the article, I would say in a footnote, because I consider it marginal but valuable info. I would also be careful not to spark some controversy over who "owns" him: was he Hungarian, Austrian, German, Austro-Hungarian?
Boyer Jan 6, UTC It seems all the last six or so changes have aimed at giving more credit to Semmelweis and telling more of his story, but if you know something additional about his involuntary confinement, please add it. I had always thought that frustration at bucking the medical establishment was the cause of his breakdown, but please correct me, because it makes a horrible and tragic story even more horrible, tragic, and instructive. Frederico Di Trocchiio covered Semmelweis quite extensively in his book "Il genio incompresso" see also his book "the big swindle". He writes that Semmelweis was already infected i. Frank A Did that suggest a toxic psychosis? It was to protect society from a man who was clearly insane by the values of that society. Gentlemen could not be the source of infection as there was no concept of infection.
He soon became involved in the problem of puerperal infection, the scourge of maternity hospitals throughout Europe. Although most women delivered at home, those who had to seek hospitalization because of poverty, illegitimacy, or obstetrical complications faced mortality rates ranging as high as 25—30 percent. Some thought that the infection was induced by overcrowding, poor ventilation, the onset of lactation, or miasma. Semmelweis proceeded to investigate its cause over the strong objections of his chief, who, like other continental physicians, had reconciled himself to the idea that the disease was unpreventable. Semmelweis observed that, among women in the first division of the clinic, the death rate from childbed fever was two or three times as high as among those in the second division, although the two divisions were identical with the exception that students were taught in the first and midwives in the second. He put forward the thesis that perhaps the students carried something to the patients they examined during labour.
Resumen de la fiebre puerperal por Ignaz Semmelweis