Ignaz Semmelweis

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ignaz Semmelweis (born 1818 - died 1865)[1] was a Hungarian doctor who discovered bacteria, disease and infection. He is the father of infection control. Semmelweis observed that if the doctors washed their hands and disinfected them, the number of infections of childbed fever could be reduced. For this reason, Semmelweis ordered his medical students to wash and disinfect their hands before and after medical rounds. He was mocked by fellow doctors, but he could not prove his findings, because bacteria had not been discovered yet. In 1870, Robert Koch proved that bacteria can cause disease. People such as Louis Pasteur proved what is known as the germ theory of disease only after Semmelweis' death.

Semmelweis probably had Alzheimer’s disease and he was sent to an asylum for being insane. He died after 14 days in the asylum possibly being beaten by the staff and inmates.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-65)". Brought to life: Exploring the history of medicine. Science Museum. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012.