Medical Practices of the 19th Century

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Medical Practices of the 19th Century
Meas 238
2/22/2012

Summary
In the era the 19th century (the 1800’s), miraculous medical discoveries were on the rise. I would like to discuss not only the horrifying procedures that were used in this era, but also the medical breakthroughs that would come about in the progression of these hundred years. Along with the medical discoveries though, there were still the doctors and medical professionals and even patients who chose to hold onto their superstitions and were reluctant to let go of their taught past ideas. I would like to more fully address and acknowledge all of the medical procedures done in this much medically divided century, not only the ones that made breakthroughs, but also shine a light on the medical practices that would now be considered ridiculous and unheard of. There were so many practices that had been going on since the 1700’s and the ideals had carried on through much of the later part of the 18th century and into the 19th century as well. Some of the doctors were always looking for new and improved ways to make the medical field a better place but some just could not let go of their older ways of what they had been taught (probably even from family practices).

Medical Practices of the 19th Century
From the 19th century to the 21st century the amount of medical changes that have come about is phenomenal. Things that we consider very normal, and very commonsense procedures now, were not heard of in the 19th century, Victorian times, and the things that they would be doing only less than two hundred years ago, that were such ‘common practices’, now seem to us to be bizarre.

One of the most common practices that had been used even as recently as the late 1800s was a practice called bloodletting. Bloodletting was a practice that was also called what we know now to be Phlebotomy. It was the draining of blood done by a barber, not a doctor, and the barber would use a lancet to cut the...
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