The People's Health (1200 - Present)

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  • History
    • Middle Ages (1200 - 1450)
      • Believed illness was God's punishment, therefore whipped themselves (penitence).
        • Zodiac signs were thought to have an affect on health.
          • Herbs were used to eliminate bad smells.
            • Stool and urine samples were used to diagnose illness.
              • Doctors came at a price. Better to be experienced rather than affective.
                • By the end, scholars and merchants travelled spreading and discovering new ideas.
                • Water was polluted and beer was drunk instead.
                  • The Black Death arrived, people believed it was a punishment from God.
                    • Natural antiseptics like wine and honey were used.
            • Housewives used family remedies. They were expected to advise on medical issues.
    • Renaissance
      • People were more open to new ideas. Often challenged everything. It was a time of discovery.
        • Quack doctors were uneducated but sold medical treatments that were harmful in some cases.
          • People began to see a link between dirt and disease.
            • Miasmas were still believed to be God's punishment and the movement of planets.
      • Industrial Revolution
        • Sewage, waste and toxic chemicals were dumped into water supplies, causing diseases such as cholera.
          • The government didn't enforce any public health laws.
            • 1832, 1848, 1853 - 1854 and 1866, An epidemic of cholera broke out.
        • The Great Stink
          • Summer 1858, river level dropped, and bacteria grew.
            • It smelt very bad, therefore parliament had to build an expensive sewer system.
              • These sewers prevented another Great Stink and helped stop cholera outbreaks in London.
    • Penicilliin
      • 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered a substance that killed bacteria. He called it "penicillin".
        • 1935, A team of medical researchers came across Fleming's articles on penicillin. They then began working on pure penicillin.
          • 1940, Penicillin was tried on a dying policeman. He recovered from blood poisoning, but died when the penicillin ran out.
            • 1941, US produced penicillin on an industrial scale.
              • 1942, Britain began mass producing it.
                • 1945, The drug became available for use worldwide and prices reduced.
    • The National Health Service
      • 1846, the first public demonstration of ether as an anaesthetic was done by William Morton.
        • Lister used carbolic acid in the 1860s during surgery. It was unpleasant, but it reduced death rates from 50% to 15%.
          • In 1889, Aspetic methods are aimed at preventing germs from getting near wounds.
            • Now, there are many new modern ways to perform modern medical procedures.
              • Plastic Surgery, X Rays, Radiotherapy, Blood Transfusions, DNA, Keyhole surgery, Transplants.


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