Medicine In The Victorian Era

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Their have been medical advances ever since the study of medicine began in 460 BCE, continuing on that pattern, the Victorian Era included many advances as well. Medical advances have been happening for a long time and will continue to happen. Just three years ago, scientists revived DNA from a wooly mammoth (Medical Advances Timeline). I’m sure at the time, the developments in the Victorian Era were just as amazing. Doctors influenced medicine in the Victorian Era by coming up with the germ theory, creating doctor specialists, and developing more technologically advanced equipment. The discovery of the germ theory influenced medicine drastically. Before the germ theory was developed in the Victorian Era, doctors did not believe diseases could…show more content…
Before germ theory, people believed that a good treatment for diseases such as Cholera was to go somewhere and get a change of air to clear the impurities from your body (Health and Medicine). However, once the germ theory was discovered, they knew that wouldn’t be effective. Discovering how diseases were caused and spread brought on a lot more realizations about how good hygiene and sanitation is important. People started learning about how important it was to do something as small as washing hands to help prevent getting sick (Shinder). The awareness of how diseases were spread led people to learn how to help control epidemics (Shinder). People started realizing that dirt could possibly carry these microorganisms that gave them diseases. That caused people to start bathing a lot more frequently, hoping they will not get sick (Shinder). Germ theory did not directly help improve vaccines and cures for diseases, however, it helped people realize how important good hygiene is, which helped prevent them from getting the disease in the first place (Germ Theory). Also, germ theory allowed women to change their role in society. “ Due to the emerging concept of infectious disease transmission and prevention, women had the opportunity to abandon their homemaking roles and instead help teach infectious disease prevention to the public”…show more content…
Some major ones include better syringes, more accurate thermometers, using laughing gas for medical treatments, and the ophthalmoscope. Syringes have been around for a long time, however, the last adjustment was made in 1853, when Alexander Wood introduced the hypodermic method (Duin). Thermometers also were developed to where they were much faster, efficient, smaller, and more accurate in 1867 by Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt (Duin). However, two of the most important inventions were laughing gas for medical procedures and an ophthalmoscope. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, was first discovered in 1772 (Walton). However, it was not till the end of 1844 where it was considered for more than just fun (Walton). Horace Wells demonstrated its effectiveness by using it on himself while his associate extracted one of his teeth (Walton). Laughing gas was the newest and most effective anesthetic for small procedures. For smaller procedures where only certain areas had to be numbed, there was coca, which its active ingredient is cocaine. This was effective, however, if it was a larger procedure, Coca would not be effective (Duin). Also, the ophthalmoscope was invented. An ophthalmoscope is an instrument which allows people to inspect the retina and other parts of the eye. In 1851, Ludwig Ferdinand invented the ophthalmoscope, letting doctors see the optic nerve, which they had never been able to

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