MN chiropractors honor memory of medical doctor Semmelweis.
Just 160 years ago in about 1850, a doctor by the name of Semmelweis made a simple observation that his colleagues refused to believe. As a surgeon of the times, Semmelweis and his colleagues also delivered babies.
He observed many more women were dying of “childbed fever” on the medical ward than on the neighboring midwife ward. Three times as many women were dying of these post-childbirth infections when they were delivered by the doctors.
When Semmelweis reported this observation to his doctor boss Professor Johan Klein, his boss got angry at the insinuation that his doctor friends were doing wrong. Instead of considering the data, he fired Semmelweis.
MN chiropractors and all forward thinking health providers remember the lesson taught us by the life of Dr. Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis.
Undaunted, Semmelweis continued his investigation. He found that it was common practice for the doctors and medical students to go from the cadaver lab where they dissected recently deceased patients to the delivery ward. Hand washing and disinfection were unknown at the time.
Semmelweis found that when doctors washed their hands in a disinfecting chlorinated lime solution, deaths from childbed fever dropped to as low as 1%. But Semmelweis’ findings were rejected by the medical establishment of the time and he was ostracized.
It was another 50 years before the practice of disinfection became a standard for medical practice.