Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century Medical Advances

There were many changes going on during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Medical advances were one of them. In the late 1800s, pasteurization was developed by Louis Pasteur. This was the  process of heating liquids to kill bacteria and prevent fermentation. Also sanitation became a very important thing. Everyone started to realize the importance of drinking clean water and properly disposing of things. They started to realize how diseases led back to unclean water that they used and drank. Also hospitals were pretty unclean at the time. Tools were not properly cleaned and this raised the number of deaths that occurred. Soon after the practice of antiseptic was being used by hospitals to clean the medical tools. This greatly dropped the number of hospital related deaths that occurred because of the bacteria that was cleaned away.  Another very important discovery was antibiotics and anesthesia.  The antibiotics were discovered by Alexander Fleming. This greatly helped people with common sicknesses such as colds and fevers. Anesthesia was first used by a Boston dentist to reduce pain. The x-ray was also accidentally by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen . There were also many new vaccine discoveries that were made. Vaccines for cholera, rabies, and anthrax were created. This helped to greatly reduce the populations death rate. Antitoxins were also discovered by Emil von Behring. Aspirin was developed by Felix Hoffman. This is one of the most popular medicines to date. People all over the world use it. It greatly helps to reduce pain and fevers.  The classification of blood types was developed by Karl Landsteiner. This allowed the first blood transfusion to take place. In 1873, the very first heart surgery took place on a patient stabbed by a long needle. It was performed by George Callender. The surgery was a success. The very first sphygomanometer was created by an Italian physician. Vitamins were also identified  during this time. They were important for the body and they helped to prevent certain illnesses. This allowed the measurement of external arterial blood pressure in the body.  These people greatly contributed to our world and our society. Where would we be without them. If they hadn’t made these incredible medical discoveries, we would be greatly behind in the medical field. Maybe aspirin had just been developed. People would have been able to relive pain easier with it.  There are also many more discoveries that were made during the late 19th century and early 20th century which aided us with illnesses.

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“19th Century Medicine.” Oracle ThinkQuest Library. Web. 27 Apr. 2010. <http://library.thinkquest.org/15569/hist-9.html&gt;.

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