Posted by P. Bingham on September 03, 1998 at 20:31:07:
In response to Germs, written by SuzanneR on September 03, 1998 at 16:09:57
I don't think they really understood the connection until later in the century.
] I recall reading about surgeons wearing blood and pus encrusted coats with no thought of germs. Also, while they might wash their instruments, they didn't know about sterilizing them until Lister introduced antiseptic surgery in the mid 19th century. I can hunt up specific sources and more details if anyone is interested.
This is very true, of course, yet there were many doctors who understood that keeping things clean meant healthy patients. And there were many households which knew this as well. For instance, I've read some passaegs from the Regency which tells how to prepare a person for blood letting. The place was to be washed and clean, etc. This was an era of constant change. They had not officially discover germs yet, but many a good doctor was concerned with cleanliness as a deterent to infection. It was only the proof which prevented everyone from following the same suit. And so, unfortuanately, this was not universal, as most were still of the "old school" and were yet to be properly educated. At this time, you still had an overwhelming population of perfectly acceptable quack doctors.
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