The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignác Semmelweis

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Medical - 191 pages
2 Reviews
"Ignac Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth century Vienna, however, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease. While his simple reforms worked immediately, they also threatened the medical establishment and so undid the passionate but self-destructive Semmelweis that he failed to overturn the status quo, leaving it to later medical giants - Pasteur, Lister, and Koch - to establish conclusively the germ theory of disease." "The Doctors' Plague is a revealing narrative of one of the key turning points in medical history."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quizshow77 - LibraryThing

Good if very brief account of an interesting and in some ways tragic figure in the history of medicine. It appears that the author has been researching this case for some years; this book is a ... Read full review

THE DOCTORS' PLAGUE: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In the first of Norton's New Discoveries series on scientific breakthroughs, NBA-winner Nuland (How We Die, 1994, etc.) puts into proper historical context the achievements of a pioneering ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
13
II
31
III
57
IV
73
V
89
VI
111
VII
133
VIII
155
IX
177
X
187
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Page 9 - Atropos, cuts the thread of life for those to whom Clotho and Lachesis would give the longest span. There is something so touching in the death of a woman who has recently given birth to her child ; something so mournful in the disappointment of cherished hopes ; something so pitiful in the deserted condition of the new-born helpless creature, for ever deprived of those tender cares and caresses that are necessary for it — that the hardest heart is sensible to the catastrophe.

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About the author (2003)

Sherwin B. Nuland is clinical professor of surgery at Yale University, where he also teaches bioethics and medical history.

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