Health and Medicine Between 1750 and 1900

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To What Extent Had Life Changed for People Between 1750 and 1900 (Prevention of Diseases)

The Industrial Revolution between 1750 and 1900 brought on major advances in medicine, especially in the fields of hygiene and vaccinations for previously deadly diseases. Scientists started thinking more logically about preventing disease and infection and, during this time, managed to greatly influence the health practices that we have today. In this essay, I shall be showing the continuity and change in the field of prevention of diseases. The revolution for vaccinations started with a discovery in 1796 by Edward Jenner. He found that both cowpox and smallpox were very similar and that by injecting the patient with the reasonably harmless cowpox they would then be immune to smallpox! The finding of vaccinations carried on rapidly and by 1900 a vaccine had been found for: cholera (1879), anthrax (1881), rabies (1882), tetanus and diphtheria (developed in 1890 by Emil Von Behring who also discovered antitoxins), typhoid fever (1896) and plague (1897). Likewise, there were many other extremely important and influential discoveries during the time of the revolution. X-rays were brought in in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen and in 1899 aspirin was manufactured by Felix Hoffman. These were all major changes for the better and contributed to making diseases less deadly and more uncommon. Not only did medicine improve, hygiene was also modernized and undertook significant changes for the better. In 1867, Joseph Lister published his book ‘Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery’ and a dramatic change followed- even stretching to the death rates shooting down from 60% to 4% in one hospital! It stated that, instead of the doctor simply brushing their medical instruments on an old rag or their clothes, the tools used should be washed in carbolic acid before next use. It also described...
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