far below the death rate in the other ward. During somemonths the death rate in the first ward was zero. Of course,Dr. Semmelweis petitioned other doctors throughoutEurope to follow his lead and institute rigid sanitation procedures. However, there was big trouble on the horizon.
The inescapable conclusion of the findings of Semmelweis was that it was the
who wereresponsible for the deaths.
Not only the students, but thedoctors were contaminating the expectant mothers. Theywere spreading the “cadaverous material” from one womanto the next within the ward. They were
washing their hands while examining, or birthing.Semmelweis’s associates soon concluded: This guySemmelweis and his theories are causing us great pain.
Heis claiming that WE are the reason why these poorwomen are dying.
That cannot be. We are the saviors, notthe killers. Semmelweis is a danger to us and to the publicas well. He must be controlled.When his term at the hospital expired he was dismissed.Road blocks were erected to his career. He was essentially blackballed for his ideas. His associates considered histheories to be damaging to their profession and they did notconceal their views. He left Vienna in 1850 a bitter man,unable to further endure his frustrations and the ugliness of his associates. But he continued to devote his life to savetoday is probably at least 500 billion dollars a year. Thedeaths and injuries are a national disgrace.Many years ago I realized that the number of serious fireswithin buildings, including homes, could be reduced to near zero.
Further, I proved that this virtual elimination of serious building fires could be accomplished with a netreduction in in fire protection expenditures
. However,one problem I encountered was that most people do not believe this to be possible.Of course, it was impossible for man to fly until man didfly. The world was obviously flat until it was proven to beround. The assumption is that if it were possible to virtuallyeliminate serious building fires it would have been donelong ago. It did not happen; therefore it could not happen.There is another important reason why the elimination of serious fires within homes and other buildings concluded to be “impossible”. It’s called the “
”.Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865) was a Hungarian physician. During 1847 he was working in the ViennaGeneral hospital’s
First Obstetrical Ward
where themortality rate for mothers was three times the rate of theSecond Ward. The First Ward’s mortality rate wasapproximately 10 percent. At the time no one knew whatwas causing the deaths, which were termed
or simply “
”. Desperate women oftenfell to their knees begging that they not be assigned to the“death ward”. Among all the doctors, it was Semmelweiswho was most concerned. He attempted to find the reasonfor the death rate disparity between the two wards.One day an associate of Dr. Semmelweis, Dr. JakobKolletschka, was nicked by a scalpel during an operation.A few days later Semmelweis’ friend succumbed with adeathly pallor, similar to the way the women looked whennear death. Dr. Semmelweis concluded that perhaps therewas some “cadaverous material” that could be passed fromthe sick to the healthy. That would explain why the FirstWard was suffering the high death rate. Medical studentswent to the autopsy room in the morning, where they would perform operations on cadavers. Then they proceededdirectly to the
First Obstetrical Ward
where they wouldassist in the births -
without first washing their hands.
Semmelweis concluded that the students might be carrying“
” directly from the dead bodies to themothers in labor. He initiated a strict routine where all whowould assist in a birthing would first wash their hands witha chlorinated solution. The death rate plummeted, falling
The Semmelweis Effect
The Story of Dr Ignaz Semmelweis
| Published: 22 Oct 12 - Updated: 28 Oct 12 | Latest version:www.scribd.com/doc/1108386963 of 5
ires within buildings are very common. This isespecially true of home fires. There is nearly a millionserious building fires every year. The cost of
1818 - 1865
Semmelweis reduced childbirthmortality tenfold at his Austrian Hospitalby promoting hand washing. His provenidea was viciously attacked by most of hispeers, many of whom would not listen to,yet alone adopt his proven proposition.In 1965 Austria issued this
postagestamp marking the 100th anniversary of his death.Ignaz Semmelweis
1822 - 1895
After Semmelweis’s death, Pasteur,a French chemist, was credited with
“discoveries that reduced mortality from puerperal fever” with his