The 19th Century

Erica, Chris, Corbin

Overview of 19th Century

"The portrayal of the history of medicine becomes more difficult in the 19th century. Discoveries multiply, and the number of eminent doctors is so great that the history is apt to become a series of biographies. Nevertheless, it is possible to discern the leading trends in modern medical thought" (Richardson 1). In the beginning of the 19th century, the structure of the body was almost fully known to physicians all over the world due to microscopy and injections. However, when treating a patient, doctors also had to start understanding the physiology of the mind and not just the anatomical parts of the body. Physicians this day in age now understood that an illness could not just affect the body but also the mind, and both parts of science needed to be known in order to treat their patient properly.

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Significant Discoveries

Hermann von Helmholtz- made the opthalmoscope

Rudolf Virchow- proved that the cell is the center of all pathological changes

Claude Bernard- research clarified the role of the pancreas in the digestive system, revealed glycogen in the liver, and explained how the contraction and exsansion of the blood vessels are controlled by vasomotor nerves. Bernard also explained the chemical balance in the body and around the cells.

Discoveries in Pathology

"Perhaps the overarching medical advance of the 19th century, certainly the most spectacular, was the conclusive demonstration that certain diseases, as well as the infection of surgical wounds, were directly caused by minute living organisms. This discovery changed the whole face of pathology and effected a complete revolution in the practice of surgery" (Guthrie 7). The scientist that discovered this was Agostino Bassi, he showed that a disease found in silkworms was caused by a type of fungus that could be cured by a chemical agent.

Bacteriology is credited to Louis Pasteur, who discovered that fermentation of wine and souring of milk are caused by living miccrorganisms.

Health Care Wokers

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was known as the "Founder of Modern Nursing." She established efficient and sanitary nursing units during the Crimean War in 1854. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) known as the father of microbiology. His germ theory proved that microorganisms cause disease. Joseph Lister (1827-1912) was the first to use an antiseptic during surgery to kill germs. Robert Koch (1843-1910) Isolated the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Clara Barton (1821-1912) formed American Red Cross in 1881 and served as its first president.
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Health Care Trends

During the 19th century there were many people that still did not have access to health care throughout the United States. There were still not many ways to prevent patients from getting infections in hospitals. And since we still did not have a huge understanding of medicine many people died from common simple things.
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