Ignace. Similize was a showman but when he truly believes something he fought through the feelings that might have otherwise nope back his voice one of the few things that he was outspoken and confrontational about was the simple act of handwashing. He was certain it was necessary but only after much observation getting other people to believe him was a different story born in Hungary in the city known as Buddha which would one day join its neighboring city across the river to become Budapest. Similize started law school but he wound up becoming a doctor in the end in Eighteen. Forty seven just three years after earning his medical license. The methodical and intelligent fellow was given a notable position at a maternity ward in Vienna Austria. His job was basically as the chief resident which gave him a lot of responsibility and power over the staff at his hospital. There were actually two maternity wards which is where women go to give birth. The first word was staffed by doctors called obstetricians the other word was staffed by midwives trained health professionals whose main concern as caring for women during before and after the Labor of childbirth more on the difference later when some of I started he noticed two things one. All the women admitted for delivery wanted to go to the ward staffed by midwives and to ten percent of the women who went to his word the obstetrician. Stafford died while they were there. Well no wonder everyone wanted to go to the other word right. The unfortunate women died from thing called child bed fever which we now know to be caused by an infection. Women wanted to go with the midwives because well they weren't done living yet and fair enough but ignace wanted to know why there was a difference in the fate of the patients in the two wards and more importantly how to solve it so he made some methodical observations. I he noted women gave birth in two different positions in the two different words so he had the doctors deliver babies the same way as the Midwest. No difference same fevers same tragic results then he noticed that when someone died a priest walk through the halls ringing a bell in solemn honor of the women who passed he thought maybe this played psychological tricks on the women in the word. Perhaps they realized that someone had died in that they very well could be next. The suggestion alone might make someone gets sick. Meanwhile of course no one died in the other word hence Nobel ringing so do you get as line of thinking. Well he told the priest ago ring his bell somewhere else still no difference with his methodical mind. He tried everything he could think of. No luck of any especially for the poor patients on the ward then. One of the doctors got sick with symptoms similar to the women and before long. He too died at this time. Medical doctors not only took care of living patients but they spent time on cadavers. Or dead bodies. It's kind of gross. When you think about it and it would certainly give me the willies. But what better way is there to learn about the human body than with a real not live human body? It ain't pleasant but it's the truth and we've learned a lot as society in this way anyway. It turns out that this now dead doctor had practised finger while working with a dead body now we know he got an infection and he died eighteen fifties Austria like pretty much everywhere else in the world didn't understand germs or bacteria or viruses or infections yet. There were still plenty of people who most diseases were brought on by miasma which is bad air in shortly idea was that you might smell something really bad and then get sick. It sounds crazy now but you should understand that. Most diseases made a body smell bad You're around some smelly sick person. You might get sick too. We know it's germs now but all they had to go on was that sticky stinky surrounding. The city Sim obese new. They're just had to be a connection between the dead bodies and the sickness. Unlike the midwives who simply dealt with the pregnant women many of the doctor spent time dissecting analyzing and learning from the cadavers which obviously meant touching them then they just hopped on over to the maternity ward when there was a baby to deliver and they did not wash their hands or their tools. Crazy right by today's standards. Yes but two hundred years ago. This was business as usual. The connection had not been made by science. The evidence was pretty clear to some of ice so he made a new rule. Doctors must wash their hands in chlorine and their tools. And guess what happened. The number of deaths fell dramatically. In fact in the obstetricians ward the survival rate was basically the same as the midwives ward so he went around telling everybody about it. Wash your hands. You're bringing gross stuff to a healthy body with your unclean tools and you're unclean fingers and instead of being excited and saying thank you. The doctors were like you're telling me I making my patient sick. Who Do you think you are? I am a good doctor and you know nothing similize before long. He was ridiculed out of existence. It's too bad. They didn't listen to him. Lives could have been saved with some simple handwashing just a few years later. There was a British nurse working in a war zone during the Crimean War who helped revolutionize medical cleanliness Florence Nightingale paid attention to international science. She took her job seriously and was responsible for the lives of thousands of recuperating British soldiers. There's a chance she heard about vices. Observations there's also a good chance that she just figured it out on her own because when she implemented rules about washing hands and tools the same thing started to happen she saved lives but still there were plenty of detractors. The anti hand washers. The dirty hinders the filthy fingered. You know nothing nightingale. They cried but you see these two did know what they were talking about. They might not have understood it on a microscopic level but they could clearly see a relationship between dirty handed doctors and sick or dying patients. The world was changing in the mid eighteen. Hundreds and doctors were doubling as scientists often to determine what was causing serious illnesses.

Coming up next